Fri, May 10, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Napoli secure Champs League spot

AFP, MILAN, Italy

Edinson Cavani stretched his tally to a league-leading 27 goals as SSC Napoli secured Serie A’s runner-up spot and Champions League soccer next season with a 3-0 win over Bologna on Wednesday.

Napoli are 11 points behind Juventus, who secured their 29th league title last weekend and beat Atalanta BC 1-0 for their 27th win of the campaign, but cannot now be caught by AC Milan, who are seven points adrift.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Mario Balotelli brace and one apiece from Sulley Muntari and Mathieu Flamini put Milan within sight of the Champions League thanks to a 4-0 rout of already-relegated Delfino Pescara.

However Massimiliano Allegri’s side face a nervous last two games of the season, at home to AS Roma and away to AC Siena, before seeing if they will beat ACF Fiorentina to third place after La Viola prevailed 1-0 away to Siena.

Elsewhere Inter’s hopes of playing any kind of European soccer next season were derailed by a 3-1 defeat at home to SS Lazio.

Inter’s 15th defeat of the season left them 33 points behind Juventus and seven behind fifth-placed Udinese in the final Europa League spot as Lazio moved up to sixth.

Parma secured a 1-0 win at Cagliari, a result which kept both sides in mid-table, while Torino and Genoa, both sitting just above the relegation zone, played out a scoreless draw.

US Citta di Palermo, meanwhile, had been looking for the points that would pull them clear of the drop zone, but despite their endeavors in a five-goal thriller with Udinese they were left third from bottom, four points adrift of Genoa.

After a fairly eventless first half, Hamsik broke the deadlock for Napoli when he collected Blerim Dzemaili’s short pass on the left to send a swerving shot inside the post of goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic.

Cavani doubled Napoli’s lead just after the hour mark from the spot after the teenage goalkeeper had hauled the Uruguayan down as he chased the ball.

Dzemaili gave Napoli a comfortable 3-0 cushion minutes later after he finished off a great run by Cavani by smashing the ball past Stojanovic.

In the day’s other Serie game UC Sampdoria and Catania drew 1-1.

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