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The Champions League Push: Round 26 Review

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Back to sixth we go.

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v FC Sevilla - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

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 26

Inter Milan entered Round 26 of Serie A in tied for fourth place with Atalanta, leading sixth place Lazio a single point, and trailing third place Napoli by six. Napoli ended up losing to Atalanta 0-2, which meant that Inter had the opportunity to close the gap to just three points with a win over Roma.

Unfortunately, Radja Nainggolan had other ideas. The loss, and results elsewhere, sees Inter drop to sixth in the league. Up next the Nerazzurri face Cagliari.

Here’s a recap of the Round 26 results, and what’s on the horizon in Round 27 for Inter’s rivals.

AC Milan

Result: 0-1 win over Sassuolo

Points behind Inter: 1

Up next in the league: Chievo Verona at home on Saturday

Lazio

Result: 1-0 win over Udinese

Points ahead of Inter: 2

Up next in the league: Bologna away on Sunday

Atalanta

Result: 0-2 win over Napoli

Points ahead of Inter: 3

Up next in the league: Fiorentina at home on Sunday

Napoli

Result: 0-2 loss to Atalanta

Points ahead of Inter: 6

Up next in the league: Roma away on Saturday

AS Roma

Result: 1-3 win over Inter

Points ahead of Inter: 11

Up next in the league: Napoli at home on Saturday

Juventus

Result: 2-0 win over Empoli

Points ahead of Inter: 18 (Juve are also seven points clear of second place Roma)

Up next in the league: Udinese away on Sunday

Table

Here’s how the table looks entering Round 27:

At this point, it’s going to take a miracle for Inter to qualify for the Champions League this year. While, it’s not impossible — Napoli remain just six points away, and Lazio are the only rival that doesn’t have to play Juventus again — chances are it won’t happen.

As Baraka said in his match recap, the top three are objectively better than Inter at the moment. That says nothing about the bright future ahead of this club, but if that’s the case, we can’t expect the Nerazzurri to finish in a Champions League spot this season.

Inter are a club on the rise, though. With a young, talented group of players, and owners willing to spend to address key areas of need, Inter fans have every reason to be optimistic about the state of the club. Champions League football will be back at the San Siro soon, but it’s looking ever more likely that it won’t happen in 2017.