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Empoli seal swift Serie A return as champions

Empoli have secured an instant return to Italy's top flight as Serie B champions thanks to Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Novara.

Palermo's 3-0 defeat at Venezia on Thursday meant Aurelio Andreazzoli's side only needed a point at their Stadio Carlo Castellani and led in the 36th minute when Francesco Caputo converted Giovanni Di Lorenzo's cross.

Relegation-threatened Novara levelled deep into first-half stoppage time through George Puscas but there were no further goals, meaning it was time to get the party started at the final whistle.

Parma and Palermo are level on points, one ahead of Frosinone and three better off than Venezia and Bari, with the battle for the second automatic promotion spot set to go down to the wire.

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