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Battle on for third spot as Juve held

JUVENTUS was held to a 2-2 home draw by Atalanta on Sunday to leave third spot in Serie A and an automatic Champions League place far from secure.

The draw, its seventh league game without a win, was played behind closed doors after fans were banned for racist chanting at last month's draw with Inter Milan.

Fourth-placed Fiorentina is a point behind Juventus with two to play after Alberto Gilardino sealed a 1-0 win over Sampdoria.

Third spot guarantees a group stage berth in the Champions League while fourth offers a place in the qualifying round.

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri has only been confirmed until the end of the season when media reports claim he will be sacked.

"I tried to risk as much as I could because I wanted three points even though it gave them chances," he told reporters.

In the eerily quiet Stadio Olimpico, Luca Cigarini put the visitors ahead after two minutes before Vincenzo Iaquinta and a stunning shot from Cristiano Zanetti gave Juventus the lead. Poor defending allowed Maximiliano Pellegrino to equalize and Atalanta went on to hit the woodwork three times.

The only ray of light for Juventus was fifth-placed Genoa's 2-2 draw with Chievo, which means it will finish at least fourth.

Striker Diego Milito made it 1-1 for Genoa with a 58th-minute penalty but Sergio Pellissier struck late for Chievo to seal a point.


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