UDINE: Juventus beat Udinese 1-0 thanks to Federico Chiesa’s second-half goal in their last match of the Serie A season on Sunday but failed to secure a Europa League spot for next term.
Juve’s hopes of a place in Uefa’s second-tier competition were dashed as AS Roma won 2-1 versus relegation-battling Spezia and Atalanta beat Monza 5-2 to take the Europa League places.
Roma’s Paulo Dybala netted a penalty in the 89th minute to secure the points for Jose Mourinho’s side who put aside the disappointment of Wednesday’s Europa League final defeat.
Juventus came seventh with 62 points and qualified for the Conference League, while Atalanta (64) and Roma (63) ended the campaign in fifth and sixth place respectively.
Juve dropped to seventh last month after being docked 10 points by an Italian soccer court over their transfer dealings.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side have suffered from injuries throughout the season with Gleison Bremer and Dusan Vlahovic sidelined on Sunday while Angel Di Maria started on the bench.
Allegri described the campaign as a complicated one for Juve, highlighting how they were initially docked 15 points, with that decision suspended following an appeal.
They would have finished third without the subsequent 10-point penalty that took them out of the Champions League spots.
“The 10-point penalty was not our fault, so I took the team to third place on the field and nobody can take that away from me,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.
“This was a difficult year, but also a wonderful one. The (Udinese) game was largely irrelevant. I just want to thank all those who worked with me at the Continassa (training ground).”
Asked about his future, Allegri said: “I’m not discussing any contract termination, I still have two years on the deal.”
With little at stake for Udinese, the hosts took a defensive approach in the first half as Juventus dominated possession.
Juve came close to scoring near the half-hour mark when Leonardo Bonucci’s powerful header struck the bar following a flick-on from a corner.
Chiesa broke the deadlock in the 68th minute by expertly sending the ball into the bottom corner from 15 metres.
It was a tense atmosphere at the Olympic stadium where Roma tried to get over their heart-wrenching penalty shootout defeat by Sevilla in the Europa League final. Adding to the tension, Mourinho was unable to stand on the touchline due to a ban.
Spezia were also desperate for the points as they tried to avoid the drop or a relegation playoff and took the lead after six minutes thanks to a header from Dimitrios Nikolaou before Nicola Zalewski equalised two minutes before the interval.
With only two minutes left on the clock, Spezia’s Kelvin Amian Adou was dismissed for a second yellow card after pushing Stephan El Shaarawy and Dybala converted the winning penalty.
“Surely, we deserved something more tonight. We lost in the final minutes after a good game,” Spezia manager Leonardo Semplici told DAZN. “We must prepare well and recharge. It’s a knockout (playoff) game so mentality will be crucial.”