Mon, May 16, 2011 - Page 18 News List

‘Rossoneri’ celebrate with win over Cagliari

Reuters and AFP, ROME and MILAN, ITALY

AC Milan players celebrate with the trophy after winning their 18th scudetto at the end of their match against Cagliari at the San Siro in Milan, Italy, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

AC Milan goaded city rivals Inter by displaying a banner reading “18 titles all on the pitch” as the Rossoneri celebrated their scudetto triumph with a bus tour through the city before a 4-1 win over Cagliari on Saturday.

Milan, who won their first championship since 2004 the previous weekend, delighted thousands of flag-waving fans in the main square by using the sign to remind Inter one of their 18 titles was won in a courtroom in the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

Inter, who went on to win four more titles in a row, finished third that year, but were declared Serie A winners after Juventus were demoted in the Calciopoli affair and second-placed AC Milan had points deducted.

Saturday’s other game saw SS Lazio’s Brazilian midfielder Hernanes score twice in a 4-2 home win over Genoa to lift his side into the fourth Champions League qualifying spot.

Another round of matches remain in Italy, but the San Siro game meant nothing with Cagliari wallowing in mid-table so a party atmosphere was assured from the off, despite Milan missing out on a double by losing to Palermo in Tuesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final.

Bazil’s Robinho scored twice in the first half to add a samba rhythm to the festivities, while Gennaro Gattuso, in bother for a foul-mouthed rant against Inter coach and former Milan boss Leonardo the previous weekend, popped up with a rare goal in between.

Andrea Cossu pulled one back for Cagliari, bossed by former Milan hero Roberto Donadoni and the previous employers of Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, but the celebrations were not to be dampened as a sea of red and black clad fans sang their hearts out.

Clarence Seedorf, one of a number of elder statesmen at Milan whose contracts are up, bagged the fourth after the break, while Filippo Inzaghi received a standing ovation after making his comeback from a knee injury sustained in November.

Milan were awarded the Serie A trophy amid a fanfare after the match, with proud owner Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in attendance.

“I above all wanted the lads to finish off in style at home, in front of the fans and the club president who came to see his team, and they’ve done it in the best of ways,” Allegri told reporters.

Lazio, who visit struggling Lecce in their final game next weekend, moved to 63 points.

Giuseppe Biava had put the hosts ahead after six minutes, but Rodrigo Palacio soon leveled for mid-table Genoa, only for Tommaso Rocchi and Hernanes with a brace to net for Lazio in the second half. Antonio Floro Flores grabbed a late consolation.

Lazio, who flirted with the drop last term, lost 2-1 at Udinese the previous weekend.

Club president Claudio Lotito was booed by his own fans during the Genoa game amid speculation the Romans may be forced to play European games in Florence next season because of unpaid bills at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

In yesterday’s early kickoff, Bologna’s Serie A survival was still in the balance after they drew 1-1 at local rivals Fiorentina.

Bologna have a six-point gap to Sampdoria in the last relegation place, meaning they can still be overtaken by the Genoese.

Alessio Cerci opened the scoring for hosts Fiorentina on 20 minutes, but Gaston Ramirez equalized five minutes into the second period.

Soon after, Ramirez was dismissed for a second booking, leaving Bologna to hold on for more than 35 minutes with a numerical disadvantage.

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