Pescara win battle of the bottom-two

Relegated Pescara picked up just their third win of the Serie A season as they beat fellow strugglers Palermo 2-0 at Stadio Adriatico on Monday.

The rock-bottom club came into the match winless in their last 11 league outings, having lost the previous five, while Diego Bortoluzzi's side were unbeaten in three games - too late to save them from the drop.

The hosts broke the deadlock early on and managed to hold out until the death when a second goal sealed a first win since February for the Serie B-bound Delfini.

Both teams had chances in the opening stages but it was Zdenek Zeman's men who broke the deadlock when Gianluca Caprari did well on the left to create space for a cross that Robert Muric steered past Andrea Fulignati from just ouside the six-yard box.

The visitors looked to respond as Ilija Nestorovski tested Vincenzo Fiorillo three minutes later with a shot from inside the area on the left, while at the other end Fulignati was called into action to deny Gaston Brugman from distance midway through the first half.

Pescara survived a late scare just before the interval when Ivaylo Chochev headed wide a delivery from Alessandro Diamanti, as they took a one-goal lead into the break.

Chochev again squandered an opportunity to restore parity as he failed to test Fiorillo with a header from close range on 61 minutes, although the keeper was required to make a save seven minutes later from Diamanti 's long-range effort.

Palermo were made to pay in the final stages when Alexandru Mitrita connected with a fantastic through-ball from Brugman on the left to slot past Fulignati from a few yards out.

Cuadrado pens permanent Juve deal

Juan Cuadrado has officially brought his Chelsea career to an end after Juventus announced they had signed the winger on a permanent basis.

The Colombia international initially joined Juve on a season-long loan deal in 2015 before they extended his stay the following year with an option to buy.

And after helping the Bianconeri to their fifth and sixth straight Serie A titles over the past two campaigns, Cuadrado has been rewarded with a long-term contract at the Juventus Stadium until 2020.

The 28-year-old failed to make an impression on then-Blues boss Jose Mourinho after his arrival from Fiorentina during the 2014 January transfer window.

Cuadrado made 12 Premier League appearances in the second-half of their title-winning season, but returned to Italy six months later with Massimiliano Allegri's side.

The Turin giants confirmed the transfer on Monday in a statement which read: "Juventus announce that, after pre-contract terms were met, they have taken up the option to sign Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello from Chelsea. 

"The fee in line with the agreement is €20 million payable in three installments from the coming 2017-18 season. Juventus and the player have in turn signed a contract until June 2020."

Cuadrado won his second domestic double with Juve at the weekend, having scored eight goals in 83 appearances during his loan spell.

Honda heading for San Siro exit

Out-of-favour AC Milan winger Keisuke Honda has announced he will be leaving the Serie A club at the end of the season.

The Japan international had originally been a first-team regular for the Rossoneri since his arrival from CSKA Moscow in January 2014.

But Honda saw his opportunities dwindle with the appointment of Vincenzo Montella as Milan's new head coach ahead of the current campaign.

The 30-year-old hardly featured for the Italian giants, although he opened his account for the season in their 3-0 win over Bologna on Sunday - only his seventh league appearance.

Honda has now confirmed that he will depart the San Siro after this weekend's final round of matches, Montella's side making the trip to Cagliari.

"My dearest Milan supporters, thank you," he said on Twitter. "It has been a challenging three and a half years but because of that I have been able to grow as a person.

"I will be leaving Milan after this season, but I look forward to seeing you again soon. I may not be a player then, who knows in what way we will meet.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work hard every day to achieve my goals. Forza Milan!"

Inzaghi praises Lazio fans for Totti tribute

Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi has praised the supporters who paid tribute to the legendary Roma striker Francesco Totti on Sunday.

Despite the Giallorossi being their arch-rivals, a group of Lazio fans lifted a banner reading “enemies for a lifetime, we salute you Francesco Totti”.

Totti is expected to retire after the final Serie A game between Roma and Genoa on Sunday, and Inzaghi was delighted to see Lazio fans honour the legendary striker.

“The banner for Totti was a fair tribute to a great champion,” Inzaghi said, according to Football Italia.

“He’ll stop this year, and I’ve had so many challenges with him as a player and now as a Coach.

“It was a nice homage, it’s right that the fans did that banner. The Lazio fans are extraordinary and sporting.

“We know what happens in this city before and after derbies, there’s teasing, but we saw the other side of that last night with an homage to a champion who will stop this year.”

Sunday's Serie A round-up

Defending champions Juventus claimed a record sixth straight Serie A title to leave Crotone on the brink of relegation, although Empoli aren't quite safe yet.

Juventus defended their crown yet again as they pushed Crotone closer to the dreaded drop with a 3-0 victory at the Juventus Stadium on Sunday.

Mario Mandzukic got the party started in the 12th minute and Paulo Dybala doubled their advantage on 39 minutes before Alex Sandro sparked wild celebrations from the home fans seven minutes from time.

Juve hold an unassailable four-point lead over second-placed Roma with one game to go, while the Squali remain one adrift of safety in 18th spot.

Atalanta cemented fifth place in the table, and Europa League football, after beating Empoli 1-0 at Stadio Carlo Castellani.

Alejandro Gomez scored the only goal of the game in the 13th minute as La Dea continued their late push for fourth position, leaving the Azzurri teetering on the edge of the relegation zone.

AC Milan arrested a disappointing five-match winless streak as they recorded a 3-0 victory over Bologna at the San Siro.

Second-half goals from Gerard Deulofeu (69'), Keisuke Honda (73') and Gianluca Lapadula (90') saw Milan pull four points clear of Fiorentina in sixth place, while the Rossoblu remain 15th in the table.

Genoa eased their relegation fears with a 2-1 win over Torino at Stadio Luigi Ferraris taking them five points clear of the bottom-three.

Goals from Luca Rigoni (32') and Giovanni Simeone (54') secured the hosts' survival with one game to go, although Adem Ljajic (89') managed to pull one back for ninth-placed Toro at the death.

Sampdoria's winless run continued after they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Udinese at Stadio Friuli.

The hosts got off to a flying start when Cyril Thereau opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but La Samp eventually found a response in the second half through Luis Muriel (64'), although the result left them 10th in the standings and without a win in seven outings.

The 12th-placed Zebrette themselves are winless in their last four matches.

Sassuolo maintained their late resurgence in the top flight with a heavy 6-2 victory against Cagliari at the Mapei Stadium.

The Neroverdi endured a difficult campaign as they failed to match their lofty sixth-placed finish of a year ago, flirting with relegation in the first few months.

But a seven-game unbeaten run in the closing weeks has taken them to the brink of a top-half finish as they sit two points adrift in 11th spot.

The contest was effectively over at half-time after the hosts opened up a 4-1 lead. Francesco Magnanelli (7'), Domenico Berardi (12'), Matteo Politano (13') and a Marco Borriello own-goal (34') put them in the driving seat, while Marco Sau (25') reduced the deficit for the Rossoblu.

Pietro Iemmello extended Sassuolo's lead from the penalty spot 11 minutes into the second half, before Artur Ionita (60') pulled another one back soon afterwards. Alessandro Matri sealed the comprehensive win in the final minute.

And in the day's late game, Inter Milan defeated nine-man Lazio 3-1. Keita Balde had opened the scoring from the penalty spot for Lazio on 18 minutes before being dismissed for a second yellow on 66 minutes.

Marco Andreolli had levelled with 31 minutes played before a 37th minute Wesley Hoedt own-goal turned the tie on its head.

Eder then secured all three points for Inter in the 74th minute, four minutes before Senad Lulic was given his second yellow. 

Inter ended the evening one place up in seventh on 59 points, as Lazio remained in fourth with 70 points.

All Sunday's results in full:

Empoli 0-1 Atalanta

AC Milan 3-0 Bologna

Sassuolo 6-2 Cagliari

Juventus 3-0 Crotone

Udinese 1-1 Sampdoria

Genoa 2-1 Torino

Lazio 1-3 Inter Milan

Saturday's Serie A round-up

Roma and Napoli kept the pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus with big wins in their respective games on Saturday.

Roma maintained their slim title challenge as they came from a goal down to beat Chievo 5-3 at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

The second-placed Giallorossi went behind twice in the first half but fought back on each occasion to go into the break at 2-2, and they upped the ante in the second half to secure all three points.

Luciano Spalletti's side closed the gap on Juve to one point, although the defending champions will retain the title with victory over Crotone on Sunday.

The visitors got off to a bad start, though, when Chievo took the lead against the run of play in the 15th minute, Lucas Castro firing home from close range after latching onto Roberto Inglese's header.

But Roma were back in the contest 13 minutes later as Federico Fazio released Stephan El Shaarawy, who went past the onrushing Stefano Sorrentino to equalise.

Their eagerness to attack proved costly, however, when Inglese was allowed space to head home Valter Birsa's cross on 37 minutes.

After Mohamed Salah went close with a powerful header that was saved by Sorrentino, the Egyptian got the better of the home keeper three minutes before half-time with a deflected shot from inside the area on the right.

The Giallorossi made a brighter start to the second half and took the lead for the first time on 58 minutes with a fine goal from El Shaarawy, who ran onto Kevin Strootman's defence-splitting pass and tucked the ball into the back of the net with his second touch from an acute angle.

Edin Dzeko then set up Salah with a neat pass for the forward to covert in the 76th minute, and the Bosnian went from provider to scorer seven minutes later as he beat Sorrentino with a rasping strike.

There was still time for Inglese to cap off a fine individual performance with his second goal of the evening four minutes from time, but Roma avoided any further late scares.

Elsewhere, Napoli cruised to a 4-1 victory over Fiorentina at Stadio San Paolo to keep alive their hopes of finishing runners-up in the league.

Maurizio Sarri's men took command early on and went into the break two goals up, with another two in the second half sealing all three points - La Viola managing to grab a late consolation goal.

The third-placed Azzurri trail Roma by one point and the Bianconeri by two heading into the final round of fixtures, while Fiorentina sit in seventh place on 59 points.

The hosts took just eight minute to break the deadlock with Kalidou Koulibaly scoring from close range after Ciprian Tatarusanu parried Marek Hamsik's header into his path.

Dries Mertens should have doubled their lead when he beat the offside trap to race through on goal, but after taking the ball around Tatarusanu, he could only hit the side-netting.

The Belgian then struck the woodwork with a curling effort from 25 yards out, but the second goal eventually came on 36 minutes after the visitors lost possession in the final third and Lorenzo Insigne scored with a clinical finish.

It was turning out to be a night to forget for Tatarusanu, who gifted Mertens the goal he was threatening when the keeper's botched punch allowed the midfielder to convert from a tight angle on 57 minutes.

Josip Ilicic gave the visiting fans something to cheer about when he pulled one back on the hour mark with a fine finish from Cristian Tello's cross, but Mertens wrapped up proceedings with his second goal four minutes later.

Saturday's results:

Chievo 3-5 Roma

Napoli 4-1 Fiorentina

Dybala: Juventus on par with Real

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala feels the Italian giants have proven they are now on par with Europe's elite clubs.

It's been a long rebuilding process for the Old Lady since the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 - which saw the club relegated to Serie B.

However, 11 years later the Bianconeri are a single game away from securing their sixth successive Scudetto and will compete the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid.

And Dybala feels the manner in which they romped towards the prestigious showdown in Cardiff proves they have reclaimed their title as European giants.

"Juventus have proved in recent years that we are on a par with the top European clubs," the Argentina international told Radio Deejay.

"We have the same chance of winning the Champions League as Real Madrid, as both sides reached the final by beating great opponents. We really want to lift that trophy for us and the fans."

Simeone: My future will be decided on Monday

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has refused to end speculation linking him with a off season move to Serie A giants Internazionale.

After the sacking of Stefano Pioli earlier this month, AS Roma's Luciano Spalletti, Chelsea's Antonio Conte and Simeone has emerged as front runners for the managerial hot-seat.

"We have always said that we'll only speak about my future after the season has concluded," Simeone told reporters.

"On Monday I will meet Miguel Angel and the director of sport Andrea Berta and we'll study what is best for the club and for everyone.

"There are solid foundations. In six years we have achieved extraordinary things. The change to a new stadium will force us to take action so it’ll be even better."

Pinamonti commits to Inter

Inter Milan have revealed that young striker Andrea Pinamonti has signed a new contract with the Serie A club. 

The 18-year-old attracted the attention of Premier League sides Tottenham and Liverpool for his performances with the club's Primavera side this season, where he scored 16 times in 20 games.

He has made just two appearances for the first team, while he is also a regular in international football and currently turns out for the Italian U19 team.

He has committed himself to Inter until June 30, 2021.

Pinamonti's agent Tullio Tinti told Calciomercato: "In addition to the new contract, we are also discussing the sporting plans with the Nerazzurri.

"Andrea is highly regarded in Italian and European football, but his attachment to Inter will have an effect on his decision."

Signing the contract on his 18th birthday, the young striker told the club's website: "It's a day I'll never forget - putting pen to paper on the contract I've been waiting so long for on my 18th birthday.

"I'm an Inter fan so signing for this team is just amazing. I can say I'm an Inter player to all effects now and I say it with pride.

"I hope to help the team win lots of trophies and make this club one of the best in Europe again, which is where Inter should be."

Inter could afford to buy Ronaldo

Inter Milan could afford to buy Cristiano Ronaldo after their Chinese takeover, according to one of the club’s directors.

However, Piero Ausilio insists a deal for Ronaldo is impossible due to FIFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.

Even at 32, Ronaldo remains the main man for Real Madrid, with the La Liga giants able to name their price for the four-time Ballon D’Or winner, if they ever decided to sell.

Yet after being taken over by the Suning Group last year, Ausilo claims Inter’s owners would be able to bankroll a huge deal, if it wasn’t for the FFP regulations.

“Today we have a strong and solid ownership,” he said.

“The new Chinese owners could comfortably buy the most famous players in the world, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, but the truth is we can’t do that because of Financial Fair Play, which takes into account the development of the club.

“It’s a path that takes time, ideas and management. We have to make as few mistakes as possible, certainly fewer than we’ve made this term.”