On Sunday, wins for all four of their rivals meant that their 2-1 defeat at the San Paolo was ultimately rendered meaningless.
“I thank our fans who applauded us until the end," a distraught Zenga reacted post-match.
“We are a small club, but there is great enthusiasm and passion here.
“In the end, we had a difficult schedule and the other teams were better than us.
“Right now it feels like I have been stabbed with a knife.
“I really struggled to get our players up from the pitch. They have shown they are capable of staying in Serie A.
“But we need to congratulate our rivals."