AC Milan are within touching distance of Serie A glory following a nervy 1-0 victory over Bologna
|AC Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri celebrates on top of his players after finishing on top of Serie A [EPA]
AC Milan ended five years of dominance by city rival Inter Milan after clinching the Serie A title on Saturday with a heated 0-0 draw at Roma.
Milan now have a nine point unassailable lead over Inter even though Inter could still mathematically finish even on points. In this case Milan would still claim the scudetto courtesy of their two derby wins.
In the decisive game against Roma, the closest either side came to scoring was a shot by Milan striker Robinho that bounced off the post one minute into the second half.
‘They said I was finished’
AC Milan’s fans celebrated the title win by lighting smoke in the colours of Italy’s flag, as their team finally got one over rivals Inter.
After the final whistle, Milan began a champagne celebration on the pitch and threw first-year manager Massimiliano Allegri up into the air.
“They said we were dead, they said I was finished. Winning after seven years is a huge emotion,” said veteran midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.
“Allegri deserves a 10. He was the artifice behind this success, he was able to keep the group together.”
The 80,000-seat Stadio Olimpico was full and contained 10,000 Milan fans for the historic occasion. Club vice president Adriano Galliani joined the players on the pitch to celebrate.
Milan president and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi wasn’t in attendance, but his daughter Barbara, who was recently added to the club’s board of directors came down to congratulate the players.
“This is a great moment, coming after seven years,” said Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf.
“This group will grow a lot after this victory. Now we want to bring the Italian Cup home, too.'”
Milan and Inter are tied with 18 titles each, while Juventus lead the all-time list with 27 championships.
Milan won’t get to celebrate before their home fans until hosting Cagliari next Saturday. The club will remain in Rome to train ahead of the second leg in the Italian Cup semifinals at Palermo on Tuesday.
Roma who are still battling for a Champions League spot, drew level on points with Lazio for fourth place. Lazio are due to visit Udinese – who are one point behind the two Roman clubs – on Sunday.
Earlier, Palermo beat already relegated Bari 2-1. Siena and Atalanta each clinched promotion back into Serie A; the two clubs are tied for the Serie B lead with a 10-point lead over Novara with three matches remaining.
A third team will also eventually be promoted from Serie B.