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Juventus, AC Milan Squeeze Into Champions League on Serie A's Final Day

On Serie A's final day, Juventus needed help to avoid a disastrous ending to a disappointing season. Hellas Verona delivered with a 1-1 draw at Napoli, ensuring Juve's place in next season's Champions League.

Following up its Coppa Italia triumph over Atalanta in midweek, Juventus ran away from Bologna in its 4-1 season finale win with all four goals coming in the first 47 minutes. Amid all the transfer rumors and reports of a disgruntled star, Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for what could be his final game in a Juventus shirt, although he still won the Serie A Golden Boot with 29 goals. 

But it was Davide Faraoni's 69th-minute equalizer for Verona that proved to be one of the biggest goals of Juventus' season as Napoli's dropped points gave the Bianconeri a one-point edge in fourth place. Early on, perhaps after drawing six of its first 11, it became clear that Juventus would have a difficult time winning its 10th straight title; but missing out on Champions League would have been catastrophic. 

AC Milan didn't need Verona's help thanks to two penalty goals from Franck Kessié in a 2-0 win at Atalanta, who had already qualified for next season's Champions League. The victory sent Milan into second with its best finish since 2012 and gave the storied club its first Champions League berth since 2013-14.

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AC Milan spent 18 of the first 21 weeks of the season in first place following a 15-match unbeaten start, leading its trophy-hungry fanbase to dream of a return to glory. But 2021 put a quick end to that with four losses in the first nine games of the new year, yet a 3-0 win over Juventus at the beginning of May buoyed its Champions League hopes.

Already crowned Serie A champions, Inter Milan was met by thousands of fans outside San Siro prior to its celebratory 5-1 victory over Udinese in the early kickoff. The dominant Nerazzurri finished the season with 91 points, 12 points clear of rival AC Milan. 

But below Inter, the Champions League fight was tight, with only two points separating the runner-up and fifth-place Napoli, who will feature in next season's Europa League.

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