Inter Milan’s 2-1 home loss to Sassuolo in Serie A left players in tears Saturday night as the squad lost their last chance to qualify for the Champions League.
At the final whistle, Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi, Rafinha and several other players fell to the ground, some with tears running down their face.
"This defeat hurts us a lot, but the team did well," Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti said. "The players were destroyed in the dressing room, it really meant a lot to them and they gave their all. Sassuolo did what they had to do, and we congratulate them for having won a difficult match...We went behind but we had all the time to get back into the match...Consigli is a top-class goalkeeper and tonight he showed the talent he has."
The loss means Roma will qualify for the Champions League no matter how they fare against Juventus on Sunday since they are already 4 points ahead of Inter Milan with one round remaining.
Fourth-placed Lazio is ahead of Inter Milan by two points and can secure a place in the Champions League by winning their match with relegation-threatened Crotone on Sunday.
Inter Milan and Lazio will face off in the last round.
Their safety from relegation already secured, Sassuolo played with nothing to lose and took a surprise lead after a canny free kick by Matteo Politano. Anticipating that the wall of players would jump, Politano waited and then rolled the strike underneath and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli was in top form as he denied Marcelo Brozovic and Antonio Candreva and then pulled off a brilliant stop to keep out Mauro Icardi's dangerous strike just before the break.
Icardi had already put the ball through moments earlier but was called offside.
Consigli performed more heroics after the break and Domenico Berardi doubled Sassuolo's lead in the 72nd minute, outpacing a defender before putting a powerful shot into the back of the net.
Rafinha scored his first goal for Inter Milan after 80 minutes with a low shot that bounced off the bottom of the post.
The Nerazzurri side kept sieged the goal in the second half but could find no way past Consigli.