Tue, May 03, 2011 - Page 20 News List

AC Milan on the brink of winning an 18th ‘scudetto’

AFP, ROME

AC Milan’s Mathieu Flamini, left, scores past Bologna’s Daniele Portanova during their Serie A match at the San Siro in Milan, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

AC Milan need only one more point to secure an 18th league title after a 1-0 victory over Bologna on Sunday put them on the brink of claiming the scudetto.

If either Milan avoid defeat away to AS Roma next week or Inter fail to beat Fiorentina, then the Rossoneri will be Serie A champions.

French midfielder Mathieu Flamini scored the only goal of the game early in the first period.

Milan would already be champions but for Giampaolo Pazzini’s two stoppage-time goals on Saturday that gave Inter a 2-1 win at Cesena.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri was happy to admit that the title race is now over.

“We’ll get one point from three games, we hope to do it as soon as possible, but we’re in good shape,” the Milan boss said.

Milan got a dream start after just eight minutes when Robinho slipped the ball forward to Flamini, who played it one side of Miguel Britos and ran around the other, leaving him face-to-face with goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano. The Frenchman’s first shot was straight at the goalkeeper, but it squirmed under his body and Flamini was first to the rebound to slide home into an empty net.

Thereafter it was all Milan as they proved especially effective on the counterattack.

Antonio Cassano should have done better when teed up by returning captain Massimo Ambrosini, but he could only shoot straight at Viviano.

Clarence Seedorf crossed for Flamini who shot wide and then on 37 minutes, Robinho picked out Kevin-Prince Boateng in the six-yard box, but he got under his close-range header.

Flamini had another chance to extend the lead just before the break when he was teed up again by Robinho, but his shot was too close to Viviano once more and this time the goalkeeper kicked the ball clear.

After the break, Milan remained dangerous on the counter and Robinho wasted a one-on-one with Viviano on the hour mark.

When Bologna substitute Francesco Della Rocca was sent off late on, any doubt about the final result followed him down the tunnel.

Udinese handed SS Lazio a big advantage in the race for fourth place when they were thrashed 5-2 at Fiorentina, for whom both Gaetano D’Agostino and Alessio Cerci scored a brace.

It means if Lazio beat Juventus they will be four points clear of their rivals with just three games to play, but should Lazio lose, then Juve would come back into play and four teams would be separated by four points in the fight for fourth spot.

The last of that group is Roma, who twice came from behind to beat Bari 3-2, with Aleandro Rosi scoring the winner five minutes into stoppage-time in a bad tempered match that saw three players sent off.

Roma captain Francescoi Totti scored twice, once from the spot, and also missed a second penalty as he became the fifth best scorer in Serie A history, reaching 206 goals.

The most remarkable thing was that Roma’s second equalizer came when they were already a man down and their winner arrived when they were playing with nine against 10.

At the bottom, a stoppage-time goal from Daniele Mannini gave Sampdoria a 3-3 draw at home to Brescia, moving them a point clear of the relegation zone. Brescia remain second from bottom.

Elsewhere, Catania defeated Cagliari 2-0, Chievo beat Lecce 1-0 and Parma were 3-1 winners over Palermo.

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