Napoli seal second spot in Serie A


Lorenzo Insigne stepped up to slot in a 98th-minute penalty as Napoli came from behind to beat Cagliari 2-1 on Sunday to guarantee they finish second in the Italian league this season behind Juventus, reports AFP.

Carlo Ancelotti's side have a 10-point lead on third-placed Inter Milan with three games left. But they are a massive 16 points behind Juventus who had already won an eighth consecutive Serie A title with five games to spare.

After a drab first half in Naples the hosts went behind after Leonardo Pavoletti picked up a Nicola Barella cross on 63 minutes to fire the Sardinians ahead in the San Paulo Stadium. But Dries Mertens headed Napoli back into the game with just five minutes to go and in a dramatic finale the hosts were awarded a late penalty after consultation with VAR when Artur Ionita handled a Faouzi Ghoulam cross, and was sent off.

Insigne stepped up with the clock ticking to score and ensure that Napoli will finish runners-up for the second consecutive year. Mertens now has 82 Napoli goals -- one more than club legend Diego Maradona. Juventus and Napoli are already assured of Champions League football next season but the battle for the final two berths remains tight with six teams in the running. Atalanta's push for a first-ever berth in Europe's top competition was boosted after a 3-1 comeback win over Lazio as rivals Roma were held 1-1 at Genoa.

"We believed in a Champions League place before, but now we believe in it even more," said Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini. The side from Bergamo are just one point behind Inter Milan who were held to a goalless draw at Udinese.