Parma are in the Europa League after Amauri’s brace beat Livorno and Torino were held 2-2 in a dramatic Florence draw.
The Ducali could still qualify for Europe, but only if they won this fixture and Torino failed to get all three points away to Fiorentina, as the Granata had the superior head-to-head record.
Alessandro Lucarelli and Dias Felipe were suspended with Nicola Pozzi and Jherson Vergara long-term absentees. Jonathan Biabiany had an injury this week, but was able to start. Livorno were relegated last week and sat bottom of the table, plus Paolo Castellini, Marco Benassi and Borja received bans. Andrea Luci, Ibrahima Mbaye, Innocent Emeghara and Leandro Greco filled out the list of unavailable stars.
Paulinho just failed to get on the end of a Luca Siligardi cross from the right, while at the other end Biabiany only managed to deflect Ezequiel Schelotto’s assist over from six yards with his torso as he came tearing in.
Emerson charged down a Marco Marchionni screamer and Luca Anania smothered at the feet of Marco Parolo.
Biabiany went close again, as his angled drive flashed across the face of goal with a deflection taking it inches wide of the far post.
Parolo’s volley was wayward from a promising position on Cassano’s cross and FantAntonio couldn’t get enough power to a header.
Parma had penalty appeals for a Leandro Rinaudo handling offence on Cassano’s shot, but it was from point-blank range and he had turned away from the ball.
News filtered through that Torino were losing at Fiorentina, so they simply could not let this opportunity slip by.
Parma stepped up the pressure and broke through with a towering header from substitute Amauri on a corner.
Practically simultaneously, Fiorentina went 2-1 up over Torino and Parma doubled their lead with Amauri. Biabiany burst down the right and crossed for Amauri’s header, with the first attempt beaten away, but Anania could do nothing on the follow-up.
The game was over, but everyone stayed on the pitch to wait for news coming in from Florence. They held their collective breath when Torino were awarded a last-gasp penalty and screamed aloud when it was parried.