Italian Serie A

Serie A: Atalanta reach first Champions League after dramatic final day

Mario Pasalic
Mario Pasalic celebrates scoring Atalanta's third goal against Sassuolo

Atalanta qualified for the Champions League for the first time on a dramatic final day of the Serie A season.

The Bergamo side, in their 112th year, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Roma all went into the final round of fixtures in contention for the final two spots.

However, it was Atalanta and Inter, in third and fourth at the start of the day, who took the places.

Atalanta recorded an easy home win over Sassuolo and Inter triumphed 2-1 over Empoli, who were relegated.

Serie A table showing positions from third to sixth

Coach Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta had in the previous two seasons flirted with the Champions League spots having previously finished in mid-table positions since their last promotion from Serie B in the 2010-11 season.

The club, with a modest budget, finished seventh in 2017-18 and fourth in the previous campaign, however only three Champions League spots were awarded to Italian sides back then.

The rules changed for this campaign and Atalanta took full advantage. Colombian Duvan Zapata, who finished as the club's top scorer this season with 23 goals, netted first in Sunday's match before forward Papu Gomez and midfielder Mario Pasalic, on loan from Chelsea, added the other two. The 77 goals they scored were the most of any side in the league.

Atalanta finished with 69 points, ahead of Inter on head-to-heads. Their coach Luciano Spalletti is set to be replaced by former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, and at times it seemed as if he would fail in his mission to leave the Nerazzurri with the parting gift of a Champions League spot.

They were well and truly out of the running when AC Milan went 2-0 up inside 23 minutes. Keita Balde's low drive in the second half put the issue back in their control before Empoli levelled with 14 minutes left to leave Inter in fifth spot, as it stood.

However, five minutes later Radja Nainggolan fired in after Matias Vecino's strike came off the post to relieve the tension. Empoli substitute Salih Ucan came close to denying Inter late on and saving his own club from the drop, but the home side hung on for victory.

AC ended their campaign in fifth with a 3-2 win at SPAL and Roma defeated Parma to take sixth place. They will both play in next season's Europa League.



  • 95GolliniSubstituted forRossiat 90+3'minutes
  • 5MasielloSubstituted forPasalicat 62'minutes
  • 19Djimsiti
  • 6Palomino
  • 21Castagne
  • 15de RoonBooked at 45mins
  • 11Freuler
  • 8Gosens
  • 10GómezSubstituted forManciniat 90+3'minutes
  • 72IlicicBooked at 38mins
  • 91Zapata


  • 1Berisha
  • 7Reca
  • 17Piccoli
  • 22Pessina
  • 23Mancini
  • 31Rossi
  • 41Ibañez da Silva
  • 88Pasalic
  • 99Barrow


  • 79Pegolo
  • 21LirolaSubstituted forRaspadoriat 90+2'minutes
  • 3Demiral
  • 31FerrariBooked at 48mins
  • 6Oliveira da SilvaBooked at 45mins
  • 68Bourabia
  • 4MagnanelliBooked at 83mins
  • 32Duncan
  • 25BerardiBooked at 45mins
  • 73LocatelliSubstituted forDjuricicat 59'minutes
  • 20BogaSubstituted forSernicolaat 85'minutes


  • 2Santos da Silva Barbosa
  • 8Ghion
  • 9Djuricic
  • 10Matri
  • 17Sernicola
  • 18Raspadori
  • 19Odgaard
  • 28Satalino
  • 34Di Francesco
  • 47Consigli
  • 98Adjapong
  • 99Brignola
Daniele Doveri

Match Stats

Home TeamAtalantaAway TeamSassuolo
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Atalanta 3, Sassuolo 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Atalanta 3, Sassuolo 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Atalanta. Francesco Rossi replaces Pierluigi Gollini.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Atalanta. Gianluca Mancini replaces Alejandro Gómez.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Sassuolo. Giacomo Raspadori replaces Pol Lirola.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Berat Djimsiti (Atalanta).

  7. Post update

    Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Filip Djuricic (Sassuolo) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alfred Duncan with a headed pass.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Sassuolo. Conceded by Robin Gosens.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Sassuolo. Leonardo Sernicola replaces Jeremie Boga.

  11. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Francesco Magnanelli (Sassuolo).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josip Ilicic (Atalanta) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mario Pasalic.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mario Pasalic (Atalanta) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Berat Djimsiti with a cross following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mario Pasalic (Atalanta) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Alejandro Gómez with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Atalanta. Conceded by Gianmarco Ferrari.

  16. Post update

    Duván Zapata (Atalanta) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Pol Lirola (Sassuolo).

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Duván Zapata (Atalanta) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  19. Post update

    Duván Zapata (Atalanta) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Gianmarco Ferrari (Sassuolo).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 26th May 2019

  • AtalantaAtalanta3SassuoloSassuolo1
  • TorinoTorino3LazioLazio1
  • SampdoriaSampdoria2JuventusJuventus0
  • CagliariCagliari1UdineseUdinese2
  • FiorentinaFiorentina0GenoaGenoa0
  • Inter MilanInter Milan2EmpoliEmpoli1
  • RomaRoma2ParmaParma1
  • SPALSPAL2AC MilanAC Milan3

As It Stood

4Inter Milan38209957332469
5AC Milan381911855361968
View full Italian Serie A table

Top Stories