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The End of Affair in Italy, or is It?

The title decided long ago, Serie A ended quietly on Sunday, as the Flying Donkeys from Chievo Verona answered the last of this season's (on-field) questions with a relegation-worthy 2-0 defeat to Catania Calcio on Sunday. The three other clubs also facing the drop rose to the occasion, too: Claudio Ranieri's Parma beat Empoli, 3-1, at home, and Siena grabbed a last-minute winner at Lazio. Reggina, the third, beat an uninterested-looking AC Milan, fresh from Champions League triumph, 2-0. Its avoidance of relegation was made all the more remarkable considering that Reggina started the season at -11 for its part in the Calciopoli scandal.

Speaking of Calciopoli, the Guardian's James Richardson points out that reports in Italy say Milan may not have seen the last of it. Suggestions that the Rossoneri operated their own referee network are turning into accusations, he says. Milan, after all, was found guilty of unsporting behavior, not match-fixing. Richardson says the Italian sports tribunal simply didn't have the time to make a thorough investigation. Now, he claims, there's a new "mountain of evidence produced by Italian police," so we shall see.

Inter Milan, meanwhile, celebrated its title win with a 3-0 win at home to Torino, though Richardson says this title, like the last one, will forever be marked by the asterisk of Juventus' absence. Juve, however, will be back, and without the match-fixing powers of year's past, it should make next season all the more exciting.

Read the whole story at The Guardian »

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