Livorno promoted to Serie A
Livorno have gained promotion from Serie B after a 2-1 aggregate win over local rivals Empoli in the play-off finals on Sunday.
The first leg ended 1-1 at the Stadio Carlo Castellani in Empoli on Wednesday, following goals from Francesco Tavano and Livorno midfielder Alfred Duncan.
Paulinho gave Livorno the advantage in the second leg when he burst between the two Empoli centre-backs to head home a Pasquale Schiattarella cross from the right in the 32nd minute.
Federico Dionisi almost made it 2-0 after pouncing on a Riccardo Saponara error, before the visitors went close to an equaliser in the final minute.However, goalkeeper Luca Mazzoni scrambled across to beat away a Massimo Maccarone free-kick and preserve Livorno’s solitary goal, which was enough for the Tuscan side to seal promotion back to the Italian top flight after a three-year absence.
Livorno will join Sassuolo, who were promoted as Serie B champions, and second-placed Hellas Verona in Serie A next term, at the expense of relegated Palermo, Siena and Pescara.
Former Italian champions Verona will play in the top flight for the first time in 11 years, while Sassuolo will be making their first ever appearance in Serie A.