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The Champions League Push: Round 25 Review

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As you were… Everyone won. 

UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Vienna Presented by UniCredit Photo by Christian Hofer/Bongarts/Getty Images for UniCredit

With Inter looking to push for a top-three Serie A finish—and an all-important Champions League spot—in the second half of the season, let’s check-in on how the Nerazzurri’s rivals fared this weekend.

Round 25

Inter entered Round 25 of Serie A tied for fourth place with Atalanta, leading sixth place Lazio by a single point, and trailing third place Napoli by six. Gabriel Barbosa’s first goal for the club, and the resulting 1-0 win over Bologna, ended up being a crucial moment, as Italy’s top seven all won over the weekend.

Here’s a recap of the Round 25 results, and what’s on the horizon in Round 26 for Inter’s rivals. Of course, I don’t need to remind you of how important Inter’s match with Roma is on Sunday.

AC Milan

Result: 2-1 win over Fiorentina. Everton loanee Gerard Deulofeu scored the winning goal in the 31st minute. It was his first goal for Milan since joining them in January.

Points behind Inter: 4

Next up in the league: Sassuolo away on Sunday

Lazio

Result: 1-2 win over Empoli

Points behind Inter: 1

Next up in the league: Udinese at home on Sunday

Atalanta

Result: 1-0 win over Crotone

Level on points with Inter

Next up in the league: Napoli away on Saturday (please draw, please)

Napoli

Result: 1-3 win over Chievo Verona

Points ahead of Inter: 6

Next up in the league: Atalanta at home on Saturday (again, please drop points)

AS Roma

Result: 4-1 domination over Torino

Points ahead of Inter: 8

Next up in the league: Inter Milan at the San Siro on Sunday

Juventus

Result: 4-1 domination of Palermo. Gonzalo Higuain scored again.

Points ahead of Inter: 15 (Juve are also seven points clear of second place Roma)

Table

Here’s how the table looks entering Round 26:

In all reality, Inter’s match on Sunday is a must-win. A loss and a Napoli win over Atalanta would result in Inter trialing Napoli by nine points and Roma by 11. At this point in the season, a gap that large would be effectively insurmountable.

Inter’s Champions League dream isn’t dead yet, but Sunday’s match could serve as the final nail in the coffin. That being said, it’s important to stay optimistic. Inter have the talent needed to win this match, so let’s hope Pioli and the players rise to the occasion. A win and a lucky result elsewhere (Napoli - Atalanta draw) would see Inter within five points of second place, and four of third. If that happens, then we’re talking.