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Sevilla, Napoli and Dnipro drop crucial points

Sevilla FC, SSC Napoli and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk all lost vital ground in their bids for UEFA Champions League football, while ACF Fiorentina earned a narrow win.

Weekend review: 9-10 May ©Getty Images

The four teams vying for a place in the UEFA Europa League final had domestic matters on their mind this weekend, but only ACF Fiorentina managed to come away with a win. Holders Sevilla FC and SSC Napoli both had to settle for draws, which damaged their bids for UEFA Champions League football next term, while FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk – also looking for a place in Europe's premier competition – suffered a rare loss.

Empoli FC 2-3 ACF Fiorentina
Vincenzo Montella's men raised morale ahead of their daunting semi-final decider with a Tuscan derby win. Needing to come out on top to reclaim fifth place in Serie A from UC Sampdoria, Fiorentina went ahead on four minutes through Josip Iličić, who also rounded off their scoring.

Mohamed Salah came on at the break to bury the Viola's other goal after Empoli had levelled, and they held firm despite Levan Mchedlidze reducing the deficit late on. "We won through quality and sacrifice, and the victory was deserved and delicate," said Montella whose charges scrambled within five points of fourth-placed Napoli.

RC Celta de Vigo 1-1 Sevilla FC
Frustration dominated for Sevilla as their bid to clinch a top-four berth in Spain was hindered by a stalemate in Galicia. Hosts Celta were missing a number of players due to suspension and Sevilla must have thought they were in for a comfortable evening when Kevin Gameiro finished high into the net on eight minutes following good work with Iago Aspas.

Events took a different course, however, and, with 57 minutes gone, Alejandro Arribas conceded a penalty for a foul on Charles Dias de Oliveira. Santiago Mina did the rest from the spot to leave Unai Emery's side three points back from Valencia CF with two games left to contest.

Second leg: Fiorentina v Sevilla, 14 May (First leg: Sevilla 3-0 Fiorentina) 

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 0-2 FC Zorya Luhansk
After the high of their 1-1 draw in Italy, Dnipro fell back to earth with a major bang on Sunday. Aiming to move back above FC Shakhtar Donetsk into second spot in Ukraine, Myron Markevych's instead slipped to a costly defeat – only their third in the league this season – and lie two points behind their Ukrainian Cup semi-final rivals with three fixtures to go.

Dries Mertens (left) scored for Napoli
Dries Mertens (left) scored for Napoli©Getty Images

Markevych opted to leave a number of key players out of his starting lineup, and it proved a risky strategy as Zorya put together a 2-0 lead in the first half. Dmytro Khomchenovskiy and Pylyp Budkivskiy got the goals for the visitors, to leave Dnipro sending on Yevhen Konoplyanka, Nikola Kalinić and Ruslan Rotan in the vain hope of sparking a comeback.

Parma FC 2-2 SSC Napoli
Napoli's push for a top-three finish and a place in the UEFA Champions League next season suffered a blow as they dropped two points away to bottom side Parma. The damage could have been even more considerable as well, as Parma twice led the way, first taking an early lead via Raffaele Palladino.

Manolo Gabbiadini drove in from Marek Hamšík's assist, but the visitors had not heeded the warning and Cristóbal Jorquera stunned them again shortly after the half-hour. Goalkeeper Antonio Mirante was performing miracles at the other end, but he could only deny Napoli for so long – and Dries Mertens salvaged a draw to leave the Partenopei four points behind third-placed SS Lazio with three games remaining.

Second leg: Dnipro v Napoli, 14 May (First leg: Napoli 1-1 Dnipro)

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