Milan down Inter in derby

AC Milan keep their bitter rival's celebrations on hold for at least another week.

    Filippo Inzaghi celebrates with typical passion [AFP]

    Inter Milan will have to wait at least one more week for its third straight Serie A title after losing to city rival AC Milan 2-1.

    Filippo Inzaghi scored in the 51st minute, his ninth goal in the last five games, with a header off a cross from Kaka.

    Five minutes later, Kaka made it 2-0 by beating Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a low shot from inside the area.

    Inter striker Julio Ricardo Cruz cut Milan's lead in the 76th with a free kick from well outside the area that curved around the defensive barrier and beat goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac, who didn't move.

    Second-place AS Roma defeated Sampdoria 3-0 to cut Inter's lead to three points with two games to go.

    Inter has 81 points, followed by Roma with 78, Juventus with 70 and Milan with 60.

    Inter beat Roma 4-1 in their first meeting this year in Rome and the teams drew 1-1 in Milan, which means that Inter takes the title if the teams finish with the same number of points.

    Inter needs one victory in its last two games to take the championship.

    If Roma loses one of its last two games, Inter would also win the league title.

    "We knew this was going to be a difficult game in which it was going to be hard to earn points in the standings,'' Inter coach Roberto Mancini said.

    "We had three games to get three points and win the championship and we have two games left to do that.''

    Milan start planning for next year

    The victory moved Milan into fourth place, one point ahead of Fiorentina, and into the last spot for next year's Champions League.

    After an early exit from the Champions League this year and a disappointing season, Milan has struggled to reach fourth place.

    "We reached our goal which was the Champions League,'' Kaka said.

    "We aren't going to win the league title, but we have played well at the end of the season.''

    Milan and Inter came out aggressively, but Milan had the advantage for most of the first half with Kaka setting up Inzaghi for several good chances, including a low pass in the 20th that filtered through the Inter defense.

    A hard fought derby [AFP]

    Inzaghi's shot from close range forced Julio Cesar to make a difficult save.

    Inter next plays at home against Siena, which moved clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over Juventus and might not have much motivation.

    Roma hosts mid-table Atalanta.

    In the last game of the season Inter plays at Parma and Roma visits Catania.

    "I always thought we'd clinch against Siena, not against Milan,'' Mancini said.

    Also Sunday, it was: Atalanta 3, Livorno 2; Cagliari 2, Fiorentina 1; Catania 1, Reggina 2; Empoli 0, Udinese 1; Lazio 1, Palermo 2; Parma 1, Genoa 0; and Torino 2, Napoli 1.

    Roma close the gap

    In its victory at Sampdoria, Roma got second-half goals from Christian Panucci, David Pizarro and Cicinho.

    Sampdoria hit the crossbar twice in the first half and had several other chances to go ahead that were blocked by Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni.

    Parma got a second-half goal from Cristiano Lucarelli to keep alive its hopes of staying in Serie A next year.

    Parma is in third-to-last place and has 34 points, one more than Empoli and four more than Livorno.

    The last three teams are relegated to Serie B.

    Catania is one point clear of relegation with 35 points while Reggina has 36 and Torino has 37.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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