Lazio score four to secure fourth

Lazio keep hold of the last Champions League spot in Serie A while Juventus lose ground on the leaders.

    Cesena players celebrate after scoring the goal that lifts them out of the relegation zone [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Lazio have improved their hopes of a place in the Champions League next year after an impressive 4-1 win at Catania on Sunday.

    Their rivals for European competition Juventus could only manage a goalless draw at Fiorentina, leaving them eight points adrift of Lazio.

    Both teams have five matches left and Juventus, seventh with 52 points, will now have to concentrate on finishing fifth or sixth to qualify at least for the Europa League.

    Hernanes Lima put Lazio ahead on 40 minutes for his second in two games and although Schelotto levelled straight after the break further goals from Stefano Mauri, Sergio Floccari and Mauro Zarate, who also provided two assists, underlined the visitors' superiority.

    Lazio will now be setting their sights on Inter Milan in third place. 

    "It will be difficult to catch Inter,'" Lazio coach Edy Reja said.

    "But they said it would be difficult to beat Catania and we are feeling good physically and mentally."

    In the late game Napoli lost to Udinese 2-1, putting them further away from challenging for their first Italian title since 1990.

    Valuable points for Cesena

    At the bottom of Italy's Serie A, Cesena moved out of the relegation places with a 1-0 win over bottom club Bari.

    After a quiet first half, Cesena scored early in the second. Emanuele Giaccherini slipped the ball beyond Bari's defense and Bogdani ran on and poked it past Jean-Francois Gillet.

    Bari twice came close to equalising. Alessandro Parisi grazed the top of the crossbar with a hard free kick and then Francesco Antonioli reacted quickly to keep out Emanuel Rivas' shot.

    Cesena’s win moved the team up to 17th place, two points ahead of Sampdoria, who were thrashed 3-0 by leaders AC Milan on Saturday.

    Results & fixtures

    Saturday April 16

     Roma 2-3 Palermo
     AC Milan 3-0 Sampdoria
     Parma 2-0 Inter Milan

    Sunday April 17

     Catania 1-4 Lazio
     Cesena 1-0 Bari
     Chievo 2-0 Bologna
     Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus
     Genoa 3-0 Brescia
     Lecce 3-3 Cagliari
     Napoli 1-2 Udinese

    Brescia slipped further behind in their efforts to escape the drop with a 3-0 defeat at Genoa. Rafinha scored the opener in the 59th, followed by an own goal from Gaetano Berardi 11 minutes later. Luca Antonelli also scored in the 90th.

    Brescia are two points behind Sampdoria, with Bari nine points adrift at the bottom of the table.

    In Napoli, Gokhan Inler and German Denis scored the goals that leave Napoli trailing leaders AC Milan by six points.

    With three minutes to go and his team trailing 2-0, Napoli striker Edinson Cavani hit a weak penalty that Samir Handanovic saved. Maurizio Domizzi was sent off for conceding the spot kick when he hauled down Christian Lucarelli.

    Napoli forward Giuseppe Mascara swept home a loose ball in injury time to score, but Udinese held on for the win.

    Fans lose their cool

    Sampdoria have suffered a complete reversal in fortunes after finishing fourth last season, with their two best players allowed to leave in the January transfer window.

    After Sampdoria’s defeat at AC Milan angry supporters attacked the team coach. The masked supporters hurled stones and struck the bus with sticks on its return to the team hotel in Genoa early on Sunday morning according to press reports, breaking the windscreen.

    The supporters have also issued death threats to the squad should they be relegated.

    "No result, even a really bad one, can justify such behaviour," the club said in a statement.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.