MILAN (Reuters) - Fiorentina got drawn into the relegation battle after a late defeat at Parma in Serie A, while AS Roma coach Claudio Ranieri again criticised the club for forcing out Daniele De Rossi.
PELLISSIER PLAYS LAST HOME MATCH AFTER 17 SEASONS WITH CHIEVO
Chievo captain Sergio Pellissier played his last home match for the Flying Donkeys in the 0-0 draw with Sampdoria after 17 seasons at the club
The 40-year-old scored 112 Serie A goals and 22 in Serie B for Chievo, where he played under 12 different coaches, and made a single appearance for Italy, scoring in a 3-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland in 2009.
The club retired his number 31 shirt and club president Luca Campedelli suggested that Pellissier could eventually succeed him.
“Sergio will be the president of Chievo. I think that is the role best suited to him,” he said. “We haven’t talked about it yet, but I don’t think we even need to.”
Fiorentina have suddenly found themselves sucked into a relegation battle after losing their last five league games, including Sunday’s 1-0 reverse at Parma
Coach Vincenzo Montella was sent off at the end and punched an advertising hoarding, which fell over and hit a steward who suffered a slight bruise.
“Now we need to find energy for the last game. It seems like a cursed season,” said Montella. “We didn’t lose because of the referee but I didn’t understand from start to finish what the rules were.”
“I struggle to talk about a game where we missed from a metre, hit the post and accidentally cleared our own chances off the line,” he added.
Fiorentina are winless in 15 games - 13 in the league and two in the cup - and have not scored in their last four outings. Three points above the relegation zone, they host fellow strugglers Genoa in their final game and will be relegated if they lose.
AS Roma coach Claudio Ranieri was not much happier after a 0-0 draw at Sassuolo left his side needing an unlikely combination of results on the final match day to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.
Ranieri was appointed as a caretaker for the rest of the season after Eusebio Di Francesco’s sacking in March, so is fairly free to speak his mind about the club.
“I don’t think Roma will be able to challenge for a Champions League place straightaway,” he said.
He also criticised the club’s decision not to offer Daniele De Rossi an extension to his contract, forcing him out of the club after 18 seasons.
“I understand the club wants to do things a certain way but there are players who must be looked at in a different light to the others and De Rossi should’ve been dealt with in another way,” he said.
Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi has emerged as one of the favourites to replace Massimiliano Allegri as coach of champions Juventus, according to Gazzetta dello Sport and other Italian media.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has also appeared among the media’s list of possible candidates alongside Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pocchettino.
Meanwhile, Allegri himself says he is eager to get straight back into coaching after the club announced his departure on Friday.
“I am not looking for a year off ... the idea is to find a project that convinces me,” he said. “Life is full of surprises and you have to be ready for anything.”
Defender Andrea Barzagli made his final home appearance for Juventus in the 1-1 draw at home to Atalanta.
The 38-year-old joined the club from VfL Wolfsburg in January 2011 and has been part of the team which has won eight successive Serie A titles.
Meanwhile, full back Ignazio Abete, 32, played his last home game for AC Milan after ten seasons at the club.
Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne