May 13, 2018 / 3:42 PM / 4 months ago

Soccer-Lazio miss chance to clinch Champions League place

MILAN, May 13 (Reuters) - Lazio missed a chance to clinch the fourth and final Italian place in next season’s Champions League group stage when they were held to a 2-2 draw at relegation-threatened Crotone on Sunday.

The result handed a lifeline to Inter Milan who appeared to have blown their chances of qualifying when they lost 2-1 at home to Sassuolo on Saturday but can now breathe again.

Juventus, Napoli and AS Roma have already booked their places in next season’s group stage.

Lazio are fourth with 72 points, three ahead of Inter, with the two sides to meet in their final game in Rome next Sunday. A win for Inter in that match will lift them into fourth place on their head-to-head record.

Leading pair Juventus and Napoli were both playing on Sunday evening. Juventus, six points clear, needed either a draw at AS Roma or for Napoli to drop points at Sampdoria to clinch a seventh successive title.

Senad Lulic put Lazio ahead with a penalty in the 17th minute, then Crotone hit back through Simy and Federico Ceccherini before a brilliantly-taken goal by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic rescued a point for Lazio six minutes from time.

Crotone, 18th in the 20-team table, were pushed into the final relegation spot with 35 points after Cagliari (36 points) climbed out of the danger zone with a 1-0 win at Fiorentina thanks to Leonardo Pavoletti’s goal in the 37th minute.

Fiorentina’s frustration boiled over when Jordan Veretout was sent off for lashing out at Joao Pedro, sparking an ugly brawl on the touchline.

SPAL lost 2-1 at Torino and are level on points in 17th place with Crotone but lead on their head-to-head record. Verona and Benevento have already been relegated. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern Editing by Ian Chadband)

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