Lecce needed a victory and for Genoa to not beat Verona, but neither of those things happened and they go down into Serie B with a typical seven-goal thriller.
Despite seemingly being doomed several weeks ago, the Salentini had done enough to push this relegation battle down to the wire. They needed to beat Parma and hope Genoa did not do the same against Verona.
Neuhen Paz sat out a ban with Luca Rossettini, Alessandro Deiola and Marco Calderoni injured, but Gianluca Lapadula shook off an ankle sprain to start. The Ducali had Juraj Kucka suspended, Yann Karamoh, Gaston Brugman, Alberto Grassi and Matteo Scozzarella unavailable.
The visitors started brightly, Gianluca Caprari testing Gabriel from distance in the opening minute, but Antonin Barak scuffed his finish at the end of a good team move from 12 yards.
It was Parma who took the lead with a stroke of luck, because Hernani’s angled drive had hit the inside of the far post, ricocheted on to Fabio Lucioni’s shin and into the net from six yards. There was nothing he could do about it, this own goal meant Lecce had it all to do.
Parma almost doubled it moments later, as Caprari completed a give-and-go with Dejan Kulusevski to spring the offside trap only to then fire wide.
To make matters worse, news also filtered through from Marassi that Genoa were 1-0 up against Verona.
Lecce continued to pour forward in search of an equaliser, but were caught out on a classic counter-attack when totally unbalanced, Caprari sweeping into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
Genoa doubled their lead at Marassi too, but Lecce wasted a golden opportunity to get back into it when Gianluca Lapadula pulled back from the by-line for Marco Mancosu to tap in, but it got trapped under his feet and Parma not only cleared, but also almost scored on the counter.
Mancosu did better when setting up the goal, floating a great ball from the right to the back post for the head of Barak to get Lecce back into it.
The Salentini completed the comeback from 2-0 down to 2-2 before half-time, Biagio Meccariello positioning himself on a corner so he didn’t even have to jump, just steer in the header from six yards.
They almost went 3-2 up in stoppages, a Filippo Falco finish shaving a coat of paint off the base of the upright.
Parma got back in front after the restart, as Antonino Barillà rolled a ball across the face of goal for the relatively undisturbed Andreas Cornelius to come sliding in with a long leg.
Lecce went so close to an equaliser for 3-3, Mancosu’s ball flashing across the face of goal to skim both the far post and Lapadula sliding in.
It was still wide open at both ends, which is why Lecce find themselves in the relegation zone. Another Barillà cross from the left found Roberto Inglese at full stretch to flick it into the far bottom corner.
Moments later, Lapadula’s diving header made it 3-4 on the rebound from a Yevhen Shakhov header that bounced off the upright.
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