MILAN - Juventus were held to a 2-2 home draw by Atalanta on Sunday to leave third spot in Serie A and an automatic Champions League place far from secure. The draw, their seventh league game without a win, was played behind closed doors after fans were banned for racist chanting at last month's Turin draw with champions Inter Milan. Fourth-placed Fiorentina are a point behind Juve with two to play after Alberto Gilardino sealed a 1-0 win over Sampdoria. Third spot guarantees a group stage berth in the Champions League while fourth offers a place in the qualifying round. Juve coach Claudio Ranieri has only been confirmed until the end of the season when media reports say he will be sacked. "I tried to risk as much as I could because I wanted three points even though it gave them chances," he told reporters. In the eerily quiet Stadio Olimpico, Luca Cigarini put the visitors ahead after two minutes before Vincenzo Iaquinta and a stunning shot from Cristiano Zanetti gave Juve the lead. Poor defending allowed Maximiliano Pellegrino to equalise on halftime and Atalanta went on to hit the woodwork three times. The only ray of light for Juve was fifth-placed Genoa's 2-2 draw with Chievo, which means they will finish at least fourth. LECCE LOSE Striker Diego Milito, tipped to join Inter by the media, made it 1-1 for Genoa with a 58th minute penalty but Sergio Pellissier struck late for Chievo to seal a point. Genoa have secured a Europa League (UEFA Cup) berth for next term but are five behind Fiorentina with two games left. Inter, who retained the title on Saturday after second-placed AC Milan lost at Udinese, celebrated with a 3-0 win over Siena at a jubilant San Siro with Esteban Cambiasso and Mario Balotelli scoring either side of the break. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is considering his future at Inter, asked to come off with a niggle but Jose Mourinho kept him on and the irritated Swede slammed in a third. A firework display after full-time rounded off the party. Almost-doomed Lecce slipped five adrift of safety at the bottom after Sergio Volpi's stoppage-time goal gave Bologna a 2-1 win over coach Giuseppe Papadopulo's former side. Bologna remain in the drop zone, though, with fourth-bottom Torino triumphing 2-1 at Napoli to stay a point ahead. Reggina are four below Torino after a 2-1 win over Cagliari.
17 May 2009
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