Defending champions 1-0 down to Cesena on 90 minutes before Pazzini’s late intervention makes AC Milan wait for title.
|The relegation dog-fight: Daniele Mannini scores a crucial injury time goal for Sampdoria against Brescia [GALO/GETTY]
AC Milan have almost got their hands on the Serie A trophy after Mathieu Flamini gave his team a 1-0 win over Bologna on Sunday. The Rossoneri are now within a point of the title.
Milan, who almost conceded an equaliser in the second half, moved eight points clear of second-placed Inter Milan with three games left and can seal their first scudetto since 2004 with a draw at AS Roma next Saturday.
Uno to go
A point will be enough because Milan have a better head-to-head record – which decides the title if two teams are level on points – than Inter. It will be a relief for AC Milan fans who have had to watch Inter claim the title for the last five seasons.
AC Milan 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 former Cagliari boss admitted it hadn’t always been plain sailing against the San Siro visitors.
“It was a difficult game. Bologna made life difficult for us but we managed to score early in the game.”
Milan got the dream start when French midfielder Flamini netted after eight minutes, prodding in at the second attempt after his first effort had been saved following a barnstorming.
He had another chance in the first half but tamely shot at Italy reserve goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano who also saved from Antonio Cassano, playing as a main striker again with Zlatan Ibrahimovic still serving a suspension.
Mid-table Bologna had opportunities too in the second half with Henry Jimenez and Miguel Britos heading just wide.
“It was a game with a bit of tension,” said Allegri.
“We played a good first half and in the second we dropped our level a bit. We must prepare well for the game in Rome.”
|Serie A Results|
Sunday May 1
AC Milan 1-0 Bologna
Milan’s victory ended third-placed Napoli’s title hopes, leaving them nine points behind despite a 1-0 win over Genoa on Saturday.
Defending champions Inter, though, made sure the title race would continue for another week with Saturday’s last-gasp 2-1 victory at strugglers Cesena where Giampaolo Pazzini grabbed a stoppage-time double.
Fifth-placed Udinese’s bid to finish fourth and earn a place in the Champions League qualifying round was hit by a 5-2 defeat to Fiorentina.
At the bottom, Sampdoria moved a point clear of the relegation zone after a late 3-3 draw with second from bottom Brescia on Sunday.
Former European Cup finalists Sampdoria have dropped like a stone since selling forwards Cassano and Pazzini in January and were only spared more angst by Daniele Mannini’s injury time equaliser in an enthralling contest.