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Sunday May 26 2019
Nail-biting Serie A conclusion

Never mind the Scudetto race, Anthony Barbagallo gets the popcorn in for an exhilarating final Serie A round in battles for Europe and safety. 

This season’s Serie A title race may have disappointed, but luckily we have been blessed with an exciting battle for the two remaining Champions League spots and a thrilling relegation fight between Genoa, Empoli and Fiorentina. Yes, you read that right, the Viola are at risk of being relegated to Serie B later this evening.

With many fans and pundits hyping this youthful Fiorentina side before the start of the 2018-19 season, thinking they could finish in a Europa League spot, these same people are now pondering where it all went wrong for the Viola. Ever since Vincenzo Montella replaced Stefano Pioli in April, the Tuscans have drawn once and lost five in a row – an abysmal record that now sees them in this predicament. 

What’s striking is the lack of goals from Fiorentina lately. Montella’s men have failed to score a single goal in their last four league games, dating back to the 2-1 loss against Juventus.

For the all the supposed firepower the Gigliati boast up front, Fiorentina’s demise has added more drama in the fight to avoid the last relegation spot. The Della Valle brothers started with the club in 2002, but 17 years later, the same owners could be the ones responsible to send the purple army down to second-tier football this time around. 

Genoa is another team many didn’t expect to be in the relegation fight. Like Fiorentina, they’ve have struggled for consistency ever since Cesare Prandelli was appointed as their third Coach of the season. The Grifone have failed to register a single win since March – their last victory coming against Juventus.

With both Genoa and Fiorentina experiencing on and off-field issues, their clash later this evening couldn’t have been played at a more appropriate time. This relegation encounter, with two of Italian football’s historically decorated clubs, has the chance of going down in the history of relegation fights in modern Calcio times.

Higher up the table, the two remaining Champions League spots will be decided later this evening. It looks like Roma will need to settle with a Europa League spot. Seeing the Giallorossi mathematically clinch a top-four place would be a greater miracle than the comeback against Barcelona.

In Emilia-Romagna later tonight, we have the chance to witness a fairy-tale in modern Italian football. If third-placed Atalanta win their game against Sassuolo, La Dea secure a Champions League place for the first time in their 111-year history.

From a neutral’s point of view, seeing the Bergamo side qualify for Europe’s elite competition would be a breath of fresh air for Calcio. Seeing a side showcase their vivid brand of attacking football to a worldwide audience, with fewer finances and resources, would be extraordinary in an era where money dictates this sport.

Then there is Milan, still with a pulse and breathing down the necks of Inter and Atalanta. The Rossoneri have had a rollercoaster season, experiencing an underwhelming campaign in the Europa League and inconsistent patches in Serie A. Ever since the 3-2 loss in the derby against Inter, Gennaro Gattuso’s men haven’t been as menacing as they were when Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek couldn’t stop scoring.

The Diavolo need to ensure Empoli or Sassuolo can do them a favour later this evening. But first, Milan should focus on getting the win against SPAL, who are a difficult side to face in Ferrara. For the Milanisti, this week’s round is the most significant for them in recent times.

That leaves us with this week’s blockbuster: Inter hosting 17th-placed Empoli. Inter have managed to emulate last season’s unpredictable performances, especially the scenario when they had to secure fourth place in the last round against Lazio.

Realistically, the Nerazzurri should have secured a top-four finish a month ago, but one win in their previous five league games hasn’t done them any favours. Luciano Spalletti’s men will need to deliver a flawless performance against an in-form Empoli side, who are fighting to retain their Serie A status.

It all depends on which Internazionale turns up on the pitch. You would think a packed San Siro would motivate this Inter side to play with hunger – potentially giving Mauro Icardi the chance to redeem himself. However, Empoli – under Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli – have recently been playing a crisp attacking style of football.

In an Empoli fan’s dream world, they would love nothing more than to secure top-flight football for another season and see their Tuscan rivals Fiorentina drop to Serie B. The ideal scenario for an Interista would be securing Champions League football for a second consecutive season and seeing Milan get left behind.

If your team has nothing to play for on the last matchday, then grab yourself some popcorn and enjoy the action-packed finish to the 2018-19 Serie A season.

Have your say...
@INTER

To be honest in some ways I'm happy as we have to focus on our youth believe it or not. As for youth we have PLENTY of talent. Qualifying for CL would mean Calabria, Cutrone, Conti, etc would have less game time. Will see what happens, but please keep in civilized, otherwise the only clown here is you.
on the 30th May, 2019 at 3:23pm
@Anonymous

LMAO!! Well that's gonna hurt Vikky's fragile heart. Seeing Milan players leave for CL clubs after a long long wait (by hibernating in his room) for next season. I hope Romagnolli will stay, otherwise Vikky won't be able to handle it and will turn to become a permanent clown ~Ululululu~
on the 28th May, 2019 at 3:58pm
It's a disservice to the club's history for Milan to miss out again on CL, but on basis of the season as a whole it was undeserved. Too many dropped points against low-table opposition, lack of cohesiveness going forward, constant speculation about players and management. I'm more sad about it because of the financial implications rather than sporting. Hopefully ownership doesn't have to cave and sell Romangoli or Donna to help balance the books or the club will be stepping even further back.
on the 28th May, 2019 at 2:31pm
Oh well thats it for milan lolol. Ill take romagnoli now hahaha. Time to sell sell sell and get even more lame. At least that means no victor here beacuse we know how much of a fan he is when milan are sucking lol which is quite a lot thesedays hahaha.
on the 28th May, 2019 at 11:37am
Imagine even more exciting if it was an 18 team league. ...Frosione and Chievo were utter garbage and irreverent entire season other than awarding all other teams points.
on the 27th May, 2019 at 5:17pm
Massive Milan fan here. I'm upset and mad, but not about yesterday. I'm talking the entire season. The fact that we had to rely on other teams failing for UCL qualification is the exact reason why this team doesn't deserve it. Genaro needs to step down, dead-weight should be sold. Hopefully the key players like Gigio, Romagnoli, Pacqueta and Piatek stay.

Squad is young. The "Champions League DNA" needs to be earned.
on the 27th May, 2019 at 1:43pm
To all Milanisti, just face the fact ur current team isn't good enough for UCL. Stop saying "UCL DNA" or "7 times UCL champion" it's all the past. Move on.
At least, we won one trophy while you all keep bragging about the past. LMAO !!!
on the 27th May, 2019 at 4:23am
@spirit_willy.that is why i still luuv serie A more then any other top european leagues..i need the dramaaa :) cheers mate
on the 27th May, 2019 at 4:19am
A lot more people in the UK would follow Italian football if the title race was more competitive. Juventus winning the league every year gets boring.
on the 27th May, 2019 at 12:15am
Total drama-filled Serie a this season! Juventas clinching the title or failing to europe or loosing Allegri which one need to get more credit? Two best mid-table teams (fio-gen) in saving their hides cock-fighting! Up top Altlanta will be in pressure for sure! In the home crowd against real deal sassuolo again up for surge mounting challange! If they win it and so does the two milan clubs then its clear dividence in standings - 2.Inter_--1.Atlanta-__3.Milan. but can they make it??
on the 26th May, 2019 at 10:06am

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