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Great escape

Serie A minnows Crotone escape relegation thanks to miraculous end of season run

The relegation favourites picked up 20 points from the final nine games of the season - two more than Juventus - to beat the drop at the expense of Empoli

All eyes were on Francesco Totti on the final day of the Italian Serie A season, and rightly so. 

The legendary forward was finally bowing out, after an incredible 25-years with Roma.

Someone get the man a tissue

Someone get the man a tissue

But south of the capital, minnows Crotone were threatening to steal his limelight by pulling off one of Serie A’s greatest escapes.

That’s because this season’s newcomers to Italy’s top-flight were a massive eight points adrift of safety at the start of April, but somehow managed to claw their way out of the relegation zone by beating Lazio 3-1 on the final day of the season.

Davide Nicola’s side began the day a point behind Empoli in 17th, having spent the entire season in the drop zone after taking just 14 points from their first 29 games of the season.

But they turned things around by winning six, drawing two and losing just one of their final nine matches to stay afloat.

That’s a cool 20 points from their final nine games – two more than champions Juventus.

Cue some absolute scenes at full-time.

Escape artists

Escape artists

Expectations were low for Crotone this season, after a second place finish behind Cagliari in Serie B in 2015-16 saw them promoted to Italy’s top flight for the first time in their 107-year history.

And their stay in Serie A looked likely to be short-lived, after their dreadful form in their first 29 games.

But they managed to turn it around.

Crotone confirmed safety with a 3-1 win over Lazio

Crotone confirmed safety with a 3-1 win over Lazio

Wins against the likes of Inter, Sampdoria, Pescara and Udinese set-up a thrilling climax to the season.

But they needed help from Empoli, who managed to lose to already-relegated Palermo to confirm Crotone’s stay in the top-flight for another season.

Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull… that’s how it’s done lads.