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Roma defeats Udinese to claim second place in the Serie A table, while Cagliari relegated after its 1–0 home loss to Palermo

May 17, 2015

MILAN (AP) — Roma came from behind to beat Udinese 2-1 on Sunday and leapfrog city rival Lazio in the battle for second spot in Serie A.

Teenager Stipe Perica put Udinese in front but Radja Nainggolan leveled in the final minute of the first half and Vasilis Torosidis scored what proved the winner in the 65th minute after a defensive blunder from the visitors.

Both sides also hit the woodwork, with Roma doing so twice in the final 10 minutes.

Roma moved back into second, a point above Lazio. The two meet in the penultimate match of the season next weekend, four days after Lazio plays Serie A champion Juventus in the Italian Cup final.

Napoli, which is seven points behind Roma, hosts Cesena on Monday in the final match of the 36th round. It plays Lazio in the final match of the season.

Earlier, Cagliari was relegated as it lost 1-0 at home to Palermo, a result that guaranteed Atalanta safety despite a 4-1 loss to Genoa.

Cagliari needed a win and for Atalanta to lose to have any hope of survival but Franco Vazquez scored for Palermo in the ninth minute to consign the Sardinian side to the second division.

Iago Falque scored twice for Genoa, including a stunning second.

In the lunchtime kickoff, Domenico Berardi netted another hat trick against AC Milan to fire Sassuolo to a 3-2 win. Milan had cancelled out a two-goal deficit but had Giacomo Bonaventura and Suso sent off.

Berardi scored four against Milan last season in Massimiliano Allegri's last game in charge before his dismissal.

Elsewhere, Torino beat Chievo Verona 2-0, and Hellas Verona won 2-1 against Empoli.

After Lazio had beaten Sampdoria on Saturday, Roma knew it needed a win to maintain second spot heading into next week's derby match.

However, it found itself on the back foot in the 19th minute when Kostas Manolas lost the ball to Cyril Thereau, whose effort was saved by Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis but Perica volleyed in the rebound. It was the 19-year-old's first goal since his arrival on loan from Chelsea in January.

Roma should have leveled almost immediately but Udinese goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis did brilliantly to beat away Francesco Totti's powerful free kick.

Roma laid siege to the Udinese goal and got a deserved equalizer when Nainggolan was left completely unmarked to volley home Totti's cross after Miralem Pjanic had touched the ball back to his captain.

Udinese almost instantly restored its lead but Guilherme's fierce free kick crashed off the crossbar.

Udinese gifted Roma the lead shortly after the hour when Thomas Heurtaux completely missed Nainggolan's weak cross as he jumped to head it away and teammate Silvan Widmer miskicked his attempted clearance, allowing Torosidis to bundle in from close range.

Roma should have sealed the match in the final 10 minutes as first Nainggolan flicked Juan Iturbe's low cross onto the base of the far post with his heel before Jose Holebas' effort was deflected onto the crossbar.

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