Mon, May 14, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Sassuolo loss bars Inter from Champions League


Inter forward Ivan Perisic, right, goes for a header during their Serie A match against US Sassuolo in Milan on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Inter players were in tears on Saturday after losing at home to US Sassuolo 2-1 left their chances of qualifying for the Champions League in tatters.

Inter captain Mauro Icardi, Rafinha and other players fell to the ground after the final whistle, several with tears running down their face.

“This defeat hurts us a lot, but the team did well,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said. “The players were destroyed in the dressing room. It really meant a lot to them and they gave their all.

The result means AS Roma qualified for the Champions League — no matter how they fared against Juventus yesterday — as they were four points ahead of Inter with one round remaining.

Inter remained two points behind fourth-placed Lazio, who could have secured a spot in the Champions League with a victory over relegation-threatened Crotone yesterday.

Inter and Lazio play each other in the last round.

Having already secured safety, Sassuolo had pride to play for and took a surprise lead in the 24th minute, when Matteo Politano waited for the wall to jump before rolling a free-kick under it and into the bottom right corner.

Goalkeeper Andrea Consigli did well to deny Marcelo Brozovic and Antonio Candreva, and pulled off a fantastic stop to keep out Mauro Icardi’s effort on the stroke of halftime.

Consigli continued to perform heroics after the break and Domenico Berardi doubled Sassuolo’s lead in the 72nd, beating a defender before firing powerfully into the back of the net.

Rafinha netted his first goal for Inter 10 minutes from time with a low shot that went in off the base of the post.

Demoted Benevento marked their final home match in Serie A by beating Genoa 1-0.

Cheick Diabate scored four minutes from time, thanks to a great run from Enrico Brignola, who started in his own half and shrugged off two tackles before rolling across for his teammate.

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