ROME: Genoa, one of the great old names of Italian football and now the oldest surviving club, will still be Serie A next season – just.
The Rossoblu beat Hellas Verona 3-0 to secure survival on Sunday while Lecce became the final team to be relegated after losing 4-3 at home to Parma.
Genoa, whose coach Davide Nicola pulled off one of Serie A’s great escapes with Crotone three years ago, finished 17th in the 20-team table with 39 points after ensuring their survival on the last day of the season for the second year running.
Lecce, who had the worst defence in the league with 85 goals conceded in 38 matches, were relegated for the ninth time since their Serie A debut in 1985-86. They will join Brescia, who like Lecce were promoted last season, and SPAL in Serie B.
Lecce needed to win and hope that Verona could take at least a point at Genoa but their hopes were effectively over after half an hour.
Antonio Sanabria put Genoa in front with a diving header in the 13th minute and the Paraguayan struck again 12 minutes later after being sent clear by Goran Pandev’s pass. Cristian Romero headed the third one minute before the break.
Although the game was effectively settled, tempers flared in the second half. Romero was sent off for a second bookable offence just after the hour while Genoa’s Francesco Cassata and Verona’s Sofyan Amrabat followed for scuffling by the corner flag in the last minute.