Football: Genoa survive again, Lecce relegated on final day of season

Lecce’s Antonin Barak, centre, scores on a header during a Serie A match between Lecce and Parma, at the Via Del Mare stadium in Lecce, Italy on Aug 2, 2020.

ROME: Three players were sent off as Genoa, Italy’s oldest professional club, beat Hellas Verona 3-0 to guarantee their Serie A survival on Sunday (Aug 2) while Lecce became the final team to be relegated after losing 4-3 at home to Parma.

Genoa, whose coach Davide Nicola pulled off one of Serie A’s great escapes with Crotone three years ago, finished 17th in the 20-team table with 39 points after ensuring their survival on the last day of the season for the second year running.

Lecce, who had the worst defence in the league with 85 goals conceded in 38 matches, were relegated for the ninth time since their Serie A debut in 1985-86. They will join Brescia, who like Lecce were promoted last season, and SPAL in Serie B.

Lecce needed to win and hope that Verona could take at least a point at Genoa but their hopes were effectively over after half an hour.

Antonio Sanabria put Genoa in front with a diving header in the 13th minute and the Paraguayan struck again 12 minutes later after being sent clear by Goran Pandev’s pass. Cristian Romero headed the third one minute before the break.

Although the game was effectively settled, tempers flared in the second half. Romero was sent off for a second bookable offence just after the hour while Genoa’s Francesco Cassata and Verona’s Sofyan Amrabat followed for scuffling by the corner flag in the last minute.

Meanwhile, Lecce’s defensive failings were again evident as they fell 2-0 behind against Parma.

They had a terrible start when Fabio Lucioni put through his own goal after eleven minutes, the ball rebounding off him and into the net after Hernani’s shot hit the post.

Gianluca Caprari then doubled Parma’s lead in the 24th minute from a breakaway which began with a Lecce corner.

Lecce gallantly fought back and levelled with headed goals by Antonin Barak and Biagio Meccariello in five minutes before halftime.

However, second-half goals from Andreas Cornelius and Roberto Inglese restored Parma’s two-goal lead before Gianluca Lapadula pulled another back for Lecce.

In other matches, Fiorentina completed their campaign with a 3-1 win at SPAL while Udinese won 1-0 at Sassuolo and Torino held Bologna 1-1.

Z24 News

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