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Atalanta punch historic Champions League ticket in wild Serie A finale | Paolo Bandini

Gian Piero Gasperini’s great entertainers made club history, while Inter edged Milan to a top-four place too

In Milan, Florence and Ferrara they waited. In Rome and Reggio Emilia, too. The final six games of the Serie A season had been scheduled to kick off simultaneously, to ensure a level playing field for teams chasing a Champions League berth, as well as those fighting against relegation. But somebody, somewhere, was late.

Referees tutted and glared at their watches, waiting for the signal to commence. Ultras completed their planned choreographies and wondered what to do next. Players bounced and bellowed at one another in overwrought voices. It was not exactly quiet before the storm, yet there was a moment of exquisite tension shared in stadiums hundreds of miles apart.

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