Mon, Apr 23, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Ronaldo goals help sink Cagliari

AFP , ROME

PHOTO: REUTERS

A Ronaldo double fired AC Milan to a 3-1 Serie A win over Cagliari at the San Siro on Saturday as the Italian side warmed up in style for next week's Champions League semi-final against Manchester United.

Goals from the Brazilian in either half and a late free kick from Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo gave AC Milan a four-point cushion in fourth place.

Carlo Ancelotti rested many of the players who are expected to start against Manchester United.

Ronaldo's opening goal on 14 minutes was not without controversy with the Sardinians protesting a tackle by Cafu on Cristiano Del Grosso, but the referee waved play on, allowing the Brazilian to tap in.

There was no arguing with his second after 69 minutes, though, Ronaldo scoring with his chest from a Cafu center.

With seven goals in 10 matches, the Brazilian, who cannot compete in the Champions League because he has already played this season with Real Madrid, has more than met expectations since his winter transfer.

Pirlo rounded off the scoring with 10 minutes to go with a free kick ending the hopes of Cagliari who six minutes earlier had pulled one back through a penalty converted by Suazo.

Thanks to their fourth straight success, the Milan outfit have fulfilled their aim of reaching the coveted fourth and final qualifying spot for the Champions League next season.

Two late goals gave Sampdoria a 3-1 win at home against relegation-threatened Messina.

Reto Ziegler scored the opener after 13 minutes and created the second for Daniele Franceschini seven minutes from time after Christian Rigano had levelled for Messina after 54 minutes.

Gennaro Delvecchio claimed Sampdoria's third in the final minute.

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