Lazio beat Napoli 4-2, se­cure a spot in Cham­pi­ons League

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY AN­DREW DAMPF

Lazio bounced back from two de­bil­i­tat­ing losses to beat Napoli 4-2 on Sun­day and se­cure a spot in the Cham­pi­ons League play­offs on the fi­nal day of the Serie A sea­son.

Lazio fin­ished third, five points ahead of Fiorentina and six ahead of Napoli, qual­i­fy­ing for the fi­nal play­off round for the lu­cra­tive Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion in Au­gust.

Sub­sti­tute Eddy Onazi scored the win­ner five min­utes from time af­ter both sides were re­duced to 10 men.

Marco Parolo and An­to­nio Can­dreva gave Lazio a 2-0 lead at half­time but Gon­zalo Higuain scored twice early in the sec­ond half to draw Napoli level.

Napoli would have fin­ished third with a win and the south­ern club had its chance but Higuain sent a penalty high in the 76th.

Miroslav Klose added a headed goal for Lazio in added time.

Lazio lost the Ital­ian Cup fi­nal to Ju­ven­tus 2-1 af­ter ex­tra time last week then was beaten by city ri­val Roma with the same score in a heated derby on Mon­day.

Napoli coach Rafa Ben­itez an­nounced on Fri­day that this would be his last match with the club. He leaves on a sour note, amid spec­u­la­tion that he will soon be an­nounced as Carlo Ancelotti’s re­place­ment at Real Madrid.

Ju­ven­tus clinched its fourth straight ti­tle weeks ago, and Roma se­cured sec­ond with win.

Roma fin­ished 17 points be­hind Ju­ven­tus and one ahead of Lazio af­ter get­ting beat 2-1 at home by Palermo in its fi­nal match, which was mostly mean­ing­less.

Franco Vazquez put Palermo ahead with a first-half penalty, Roma’s 38-year-old cap­tain Francesco Totti equal­ized in the 85th and An­drea Belotti scored the win­ner for Palermo in added time.

Fiorentina moved ahead of Napoli with a 3-0 win over 10-man Chievo Verona, with goals from Josip Ili­cic, Fed­erico Bernarde­schi and Mi­lan Badelj.

Mau­rco Icardi scored twice and also had an as­sist in In­ter Mi­lan’s 4-3 win over Em­poli to fin­ish joint top scorer with Hel­las Verona’s Luca Toni — with 22 goals each, two more than Juve’s Car­los Tevez.

Toni, who turned 38 on Tues­day, be­came the old­est “capoc­an­non­iere” in Serie A his­tory. Dario Hub­ner, who was joint top scorer with David Trezeguet at the age of 35 in 2001-02, was the pre­vi­ous old­est leader.

Also, it was: Sam­p­do­ria 2, Parma 2; Sas­suolo 3, Genoa 1; Torino 5, Ce­sena 0; and Cagliari 4, Udi­nese 3.

The next Serie A sea­son is slated to start Aug. 22-23.

At a packed San Paolo sta­dium, Napoli took the ini­tia­tive at the start and was un­for­tu­nate when Jose Calle­jon slipped through the de­fense only to have his ef­fort go just wide.

the derby

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