Reja writes off Lazio's Champions hopes

by AFP on May 17, 2011

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Lazio coach Edy Reja has written off his side's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League following Udinese's win at the weekend.

Lazio trail Udinese by two points and have a goal difference that is eight goals inferior with just one game left to play.

It means that if Udinese draw at home to champions AC Milan, Lazio would need an unrealistic nine-goal victory at Lecce to snatch fourth place from their rivals.

Having led Serie A for much of the opening part of the season, Reja admitted missing out on the Champions League would be a huge disappointment.

"We expected something more, especially after what we've done this season," he said.

"It's not yet over but on Sunday, Udinese need only a point to qualify for the Champions League and Milan have been celebrating for some time.

"All we can do is roll our dice knowing that we've had an amazing season and we've already achieved our original aim of qualifying for the Europa League."

Lazio are not yet assured of fifth place, as if they lose and Roma beat Sampdoria, they would drop to sixth.

"Fifth place is important to skip a round in the Europa League. Lecce will want to end on a high in front of their fans but we need to win to ensure fifth place, which is the least we deserve.

"We'll get a result at Lecce and then we'll look at Udinese-Milan.

There's not much hope for the Champions League, we'd need a miracle although you never know in football."