Champions League: Inter Milan Snatch Champions League Spot From Lazio
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Diala May 21 ( Post 1 )
Inter Milan snatched the final Champions League berth with a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 win over direct European rivals Lazio on the final day of the season at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
Inter had to win in order to take third place from Lazio who had a superior head-to-head record and needed just to draw.
Late goals from captain Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino ensured Inter return to Europe for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, along with Juventus, Napoli and Roma.
“The target was the Champions League. The finish line,” said Argentine striker Icardi. “The game wasn’t going the right way, but we showed strength to get it back on track.”
Lazio had led 2-1 with a quarter of an hour to go in Rome after Ivan Perisic turned the ball into his own net and Brazilian Anderson got a second four minutes before the break.
But Danilo D’Ambrosio got one back after 29 minutes with Icardi slotting in a penalty after 78 minutes following a Stefan De Vrij foul to join Lazio’s Ciro Immobile as the top Serie A scorer this season with 29 goals.
Lazio captain Senad Lulic was sent off late for a second yellow card with Vecino heading in the winner minutes later as the Roman side fell apart with Spanish defender Patric also sent off in the dying minutes of the game.
Both Inter and Lazio finished equal on 72 points but Inter are ahead on direct clashes leaving Lazio fourth, five points behind Roma who beat Sassuolo 1-0 on Sunday.
Lazio go into the Europa League along with AC Milan who sealed direct access to the group stage with a 5-1 rout of Fiorentina, who finish eighth.
“There is great regret for what could have been,” said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi. “It takes nothing away from the season we had. We showed we could compete with anyone, we beat Juventus twice.”
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