Lazio tied 2-2 and qualified for Europe on their visit to Juventus Stadium this Monday at the end of matchday 37 of Serie A, in which Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala said goodbye to the ‘tifosi bianconeri’.
With a goal from Serbian Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in minute 90+6, Lazio (5th) made sure to finish 5th or 6th in the standings, synonymous with playing in the Europa League next season.
The other place to play the second European club competition and a ticket to the Conference League will be played on the last day by Roma (6th with 60 points), Fiorentina (7th) and Atalanta (8th), both one point away of the Romans.
Juventus, for its part, has already secured its qualification for the Champions League for a few weeks, so this Monday’s match served for captain Giorgio Chiellini and Argentine Paulo Dybala to play their last game in front of their fans .
The former was substituted after 17 minutes (coinciding with the number of years he has played for the club) so that he received a standing ovation from the ‘tifosi’ and the latter was substituted in the 78th minute, also being highly applauded by his fans.
Serbian Dusan Vlahovic joined the tribute to Dybala imitating the Argentine’s celebration of his goals (simulating a gladiator mask) after opening the scoring in the 10th minute of the match.
The Spanish Álvaro Morata scored the second after half an hour of play (36), but despite being two goals behind, Lazio did not give up, reducing the score with an own goal by the Brazilian Alex Sandro (51) before Milinkovic equalized -Savic in the discount.
After the game, Chiellini admitted that Italy’s failure to qualify for the Qatar World Cup “accelerated” his decision to leave Juventus and the national team, with which he will play a final match on June 1 against Argentina in London.
“The idea was to reach the end of the year and the World Cup” that will start on December 21, but “unfortunately what we expected did not happen and that clearly accelerated my decision,” said the 37-year-old defender.
Chiellini was not concerned about the future of Italy and did not confirm whether he will play in the North American professional league after leaving Juventus: “I have to see what the best option is.” (D)