Serie A trio relegated as Europa fight goes to wire
Catania, Bologna and Livorno were relegated from Italy`s Serie A while the battle for the league`s last remaining Europa League spot will go to the wire after Torino were held 1-1 by Parma on Sunday.
Catania had an 84th minute winner from Gonzalo Bergessio to thank for all three points in a 2-1 win away to Bologna, who had levelled through Archimede Morleo in the 79th minute after Luciano Monzon`s 22nd minute opener for the visitors.
But Chievo`s 1-0 win away to Cagliari, thanks to a 72nd minute strike from Dario Dainelli, was enough to keep Chievo four points above Catania, who sit third from bottom, with one game left to play.
Bologna`s 18th defeat of the campaign also left them on 29 points, four ahead of basement side Livorno who lost 1-0 at home to Fiorentina through Juan Cuadrado`s strike just before the hour.
The battle for the league`s third and last Europa League place, meanwhile, remains a four-horse race after Milan were stunned 2-1 away to Atalanta and Torino were held by 10-man Parma.
Milan looked to be heading for a share of the spoils after striker German Denis levelled for the hosts from the spot a quarter hour after Gianpaolo Bellini had put the ball past his own goalkeeper Andrea Consigli to give Milan a 1-0 lead.
But the visitors were stunned in the sixth minute of added time when substitute Franco Brienza sent an unstoppable shot past Milan `keeper Christian Abbiati.
The match was marred by an ugly banana-throwing incident in which Milan defender Kevin Constant, a Guinean international, was targeted.
But perhaps more worrying for the seven-time Champions League winners is the real prospect of missing out on European football next season.
Milan sit eighth, two points behind sixth-placed Torino in the final Europa qualifying spot, one point behind Parma and on the same points as Verona, in ninth.
Milan`s defeat may have confirmed coach Clarence Seedorf`s anticipated departure amid reports he has failed to win over club president Silvio Berlusconi.
But Seedorf said: "I`m not looking ahead any further than our final game next week and finishing the season as best as we can.
"I am giving 100 percent, so my conscience is clear."
Torino were en route to stamping their ticket for a first European campaign since the 1992-93 season when Ciro Immobile scored in the 42nd minute to take his league-leading tally to 22 for the season.
However Parma, reduced to 10 men when Alessandro Lucarelli saw red on 63 minutes, pulled level through French forward Jonathan Biabiany when he pounced on the rebound after Torino `keeper Daniele Padelli had saved Antonio Cassano`s 71st minute spot-kick.
It was enough to deny Torino, who face a tough trip to Fiorentina next week when Parma host Livorno, Milan host Sassuolo and Verona are away to Napoli.