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Bologna achieve UCL dream, Juve lock in top-5 finish after Roma's loss

Ivan Romano / Getty Images Sport / Getty

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Atalanta took a big step towards Champions League football on Sunday by beating Serie A top-five rivals Roma 2-1, a win which also guaranteed spots for Bologna and Juventus.

A brilliant brace from Charles De Ketelaere in the first 20 minutes gave Atalanta, still on a high from reaching the Europa League final, a fully deserved win in Bergamo.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side sit in Italy's fifth and final Champions League spot, three points ahead of Roma with a game in hand against Fiorentina which they will play the weekend after the scheduled end of the season.

Atalanta, who also face Juventus in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday, looked set to sweep Roma aside in the same manner in which they dealt with Marseille on Thursday to reach their first ever European final.

But they had to overcome a tense finale after Lorenzo Pellegrini's 66th-minute penalty gave the away side hope.

Defeat for Roma followed up their heartbreaking last-four elimination from the Europa League at Bayer Leverkusen.

Daniele De Rossi's team, who were missing injured talisman Paulo Dybala, have little chance of finishing fifth but can still reach the continent's top club competition even if they finish sixth, if Atalanta win the Europa League.

Thanks to Atalanta's win, Bologna will make their first appearance in the modern Champions League as they and Juve, who could only draw with relegated Salernitana, are seven points ahead of Roma with two rounds of fixtures remaining.

Third-placed Bologna played one match in the old European Cup in 1964, the same year they won the last of their seven league titles, and effectively sealed their place with a 2-0 win at Napoli on Saturday.

Juve will be delighted with Atalanta's win as they were crawling over the line with five straight league draws, the latest of which came thanks to a stoppage-time leveller from Adrien Rabiot.

Since the start of February, Juve, in fourth, have won just three times in all competitions.

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