MILAN: Edinson Cavani stretched his tally to a league-leading 27 goals as Napoli secured Serie A’s runner-up spot and Champions League football next season with a 3-0 win over Bologna on Wednesday.
Napoli are 11 points behind Juventus, who secured their 29th league title last weekend and beat Atalanta 1-0 for their 27th win of the campaign, but cannot now be caught by AC Milan who are seven points adrift.
“We’re really happy about second place, it’s like a Scudetto for us,” Slovakian midfielder Marek Hamsik, who scored Napoli’s opener, told Sky Sport Italia. “Now we’re in the Champions League.”
With Cavani a target for several top European sides, Hamsik admitted, however, it would be strange to play in the competition without the free-scoring Uruguayan.
“It’s difficult to think we could be without him next season, but that’s football and we just have to get on with it.”
Earlier on Wednesday a Mario Balotelli brace and one apiece from Sulley Muntari and Mathieu Flamini put Milan within sight of the Champions League thanks to a 4-0 rout of already-relegated Pescara. Elsewhere Inter Milan’s hopes of playing any kind of European football next season were derailed by a 3-1 defeat at home to Lazio.
Parma secured a 1-0 win at Cagliari, a result which kept both sides in mid-table, while Torino and Genoa, both sitting just above the relegation zone, played out a scoreless draw.
Palermo, meanwhile, had been looking for the points that would pull them clear of the drop zone but despite their endeavours in a five-goal thriller with Udinese they were left third from bottom, four points adrift of Genoa.