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AC Milan derby victory cuts Inter lead


Latest update : 2010-01-04

AC Milan's win over Serie A leaders Inter temporarily gives the team the Champions League qualifying place after rivals Fiorentina lost 2-1 at Cagliari. AS Roma crushed Sampdoria 3-0 cutting Inter's lead to 3 points with two games left in the season.

REUTERS - A dominant AC Milan beat Serie A leaders Inter 2-1 on Sunday to blow open the title race with second-placed AS Roma winning 3-0 at Sampdoria.


Inter's lead has been cut to three points with two games left after Filippo Inzaghi and Kaka scored early in the second half for Milan, who move into the final Champions League qualifying place after rivals Fiorentina lost 2-1 at Cagliari.


Julio Cruz blasted in a free kick to pull one back for Inter, who went into the big derby knowing a victory would have meant they retained their title.


"In the first half they were better. Then there were two goals and we started to play. I have always thought that the (scudetto) celebrations would come against Siena and not Milan," Inter coach Roberto Mancini told Sky, referring to next weekend's home match with Siena.


Roma are still in the race after Christian Panucci, David Pizarro and Cicinho netted second-half goals at Samp, but coach Luciano Spalletti is not getting excited.


"We must be realistic. Inter have had a good season and have all the cards for winning," he said.






Roma, sure of second spot after third-placed Juventus lost 1-0 at Siena, were poor in the first period with the home side, including former Roma striker Antonio Cassano, missing a glut of chances.


News of Milan's goals at the San Siro appeared to energise Roma, however, and once Panucci had headed in a corner at the near post in the 75th minute there was only one winner.


Pizarro's superb shot made it two and Cicinho fired in after a counter-attack to also dent Samp's hopes of snatching the final Champions League spot.


Milan have 61 points and Fiorentina 60, with Udinese moving up to sixth on 57 and Samp dropping to seventh on 56.


Fiorentina, reeling from their defeat on penalties by Rangers in Thursday's UEFA Cup semi-final, were second best in Sardinia but almost forced a draw.


At the other end of the table, bottom side Livorno are close to the drop after Atalanta's Simone Padoin netted late on to snatch a 3-2 win.


Livorno have 30 points, with Empoli one place above them on 33 after a 1-0 defeat at home to Udinese.


Parma are third from bottom with 34 points after Cristiano Lucarelli's header secured a 1-0 win over Genoa, while Catania have been dragged back into the dogfight after Nicola Amoruso scored twice in struggling Reggina's 2-1 win in Sicily.

Date created : 2008-05-04