Serie A - Humiliated Sampdoria relegated

Sun, 15 May 16:34:00 2011

Sampdoria, fourth last term, suffered a humiliating relegation from Serie A after they lost 2-1 at home to Palermo.

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Rivals Lecce won 2-0 at already-relegated Bari in a fiery local derby including minor crowd trouble to help condemn Samp with one round of matches still to play.

The Genoa side, last relegated in 1999, started the season in the Champions League qualifiers but sank like a stone after selling top strikers Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini in January when they were in comfortable midtable.

Udinese retook fourth spot thanks to a 2-0 win at Chievo and have a two-point cushion over Lazio, 4-2 winners over Genoa on Saturday, in the final Champions League qualifying spot heading into the final weekend.

Lazio's city rivals AS Roma are now out of the running for fourth after Alejandro Gomez's stoppage time strike sealed a 2-1 win for Catania and potentially ended interim Roma coach Vincenzo Montella's hopes of the job full-time.

Seventh-placed Juventus endured another low point in their second straight season of woe with a 1-0 defeat at Parma where on-loan Juve winger Sebastian Giovinco scored against his parent club to leave coach Luigi Del Neri on the brink of the sack.

Napoli host second-placed Internazionale needing a point to secure the third automatic Champions League spot and their first return to the European Cup since 1991.

Champions Milan were awarded the trophy on Saturday after a 4-1 win over Cagliari having already sealed the scudetto.

Former European Cup finalists Sampdoria, who boasted the likes of Gianluca Vialli and Ruud Gullit in their pomp, stepped out at a nervous Marassi knowing they needed a win to give themselves any hope of surviving.

They went behind on halftime to Fabrizio Miccoli's goal but Jonathan Biabiany, one of a number of forwards who have failed to adequately replace AC Milan's Cassano and Inter's Pazzini, equalised soon after the break.

As Samp desperately sought another goal, Mauricio Pinilla sent a dagger into their hearts with a late winner.

Samp captain and Italy midfielder Angelo Palombo sobbed on the pitch at the end and went to apologise to the main group of ultra fans, who unsuccessfully demanded that owner Riccardo Garrone also came "in front of the curva" to say sorry.

Cesena were not safe heading into Sunday but left nothing to chance with a 1-0 home win over already-relegated Brescia.

Reuters

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