x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Inter suffer a last-day scare before setting up treble chance

Inter Milan beat Siena 1-0 yesterday to seal their fifth consecutive Serie A title and move two-thirds of the way to a possible treble.

Inter Milan beat Siena 1-0 yesterday to seal their fifth consecutive Serie A title and move two-thirds of the way to a possible treble. Diego Milito collected a pass from Javier Zanetti, the Inter captain, before sliding home his 22nd goal of the season to break the deadlock in the 57th minute at Siena's Artemio Franchi stadium. Inter finished with 82 points, two more than Roma, who won 2-0 at Chievo Verona. Roma scored both of their goals in the first half and had their hands on the title before Milito calmed Inter's nerves.

Inter beat Roma in the Coppa Italia final, and Jose Mourinho's side face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Saturday as they attempt to become the first Italian club to achieve the treble. Mourinho appeared teary-eyed during the trophy celebration, and Massimo Moratti, the Inter president, came down to the field to celebrate with his club. "Let's hope we can complete it all," Moratti said, with reference to the treble. "The entire season was a struggle, right down to the last second." It was Inter's 18th Serie A title, second only to Juventus's 27.

Sampdoria beat Napoli 1-0 to clinch fourth place and the final Champions League berth. Giampaolo Pazzini scored with a header in the 51st minute for Sampdoria, redirecting a free-kick from Reto Ziegler for his 19th goal of the season, and Marco Storari, Sampdoria's keeper, made two good saves from shots by Fabio Quagliarella to preserve the lead. Afterward, Sampdoria celebrated to the tune of the Champions League music.

Palermo came into the day with a chance of finishing fourth but needed a slip-up from Sampdoria, rendering their 2-1 win over Atalanta meaningless. Edinson Cavani scored twice for Palermo, including the winner from a penalty five minutes into added time. Otherwise, all of the key places in Serie A had already been decided. AC Milan, who beat Juventus 3-0 on Saturday, finished third while Napoli and Juventus had already clinched sixth and seventh spot to earn Europa League places.

* AP