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Milan Squeak Out Win

AC Milan consolidated third place in the Serie A table with a laboured 1-0 victory over Cagliari on Sunday.

With both leaders Inter Milan and Juventus winning on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti’s side needed three points to keep up the pressure on the top two. And although it was not pretty football at the San Siro, Clarence Seedorf’s 66th-minute strike was enough to move Milan back within 11 points of leaders and city rivals Inter.

Adrian Mutu’s late goal ensured Fiorentina remained fourth with a 2-1 success over 10-man Chievo. Despite falling behind to Santiago Morero’s 13th-minute effort, Alberto Gilardino restored parity for the Viola after 73 minutes before Vincenzo Italiano was given his marching orders with a second yellow card. Romania international Mutu then notched his 12th goal of the season with the final kick of the match to steal the win.

Genoa remained one point behind Fiorentina with a 70th-minute goal from substitute Bosko Jankovic enough to see them edge out Napoli 1-0. 

Sampdoria hit back from their midweek UEFA Cup defeat to Metalist Kharkiv with a 1-0 victory over Atalanta. Giampaolo Pazzini scored the only goal for the Blucerchiati after 61 minutes.

Lazio halted their slide down the table with a 2-0 win at Lecce thanks to goals in either half from Pasquale Foggia (10) and Aleksandar Kolarov (50).

Reggina continue to struggle at the foot of the table, slipping to a 2-0 defeat at Catania. Ciro Capuano opened the scoring for the hosts with Alessandro Potenza adding the second.

Torino climbed out of the bottom three, though, with a 1-0 home against Udinese. Pablo Hernan Dellafiore scored the winner nine minutes from time while Maurizio Domizzi was sent off in stoppage time to complete a miserable afternoon for the visitors.

On Saturday, Inter had briefly extended their lead at the top to 12 points thanks to a narrow 2-1 win away to Bologna, but Juve cut it back to nine with a 2-0 win at Palermo. 

Esteban Cambiasso put a dominant Inter ahead in the 57th minute, but the home side finally came to life to level through Manuel Angel Britos with just over 10 minutes remaining. However, Inter responded with substitute Mario Balotelli scoring with his first touch in the 82nd minute to make it three wins in a row for the defending hampions and keep them on course for the title. Inter coach Jose Mourinho opted not to change his team too much, despite the first leg of their Champions League tie with Manchester United coming up on Tuesday.

Mohamed Sissoko and David Trezeguet scored the goals for Juventus, who were made to work for their win against a determined and motivated Palermo side, but prevailed by taking their best chances well. The Rosaneri could have led by two goals within the first five minutes, but were unable to find a way past Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, whose national team understudy Marco Amelia impressed at the other end of the field.

In Saturday’s other game, Roma returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory against Siena but Luciano Spalletti’s side were far from convincing ahead of their Champions League clash with Arsenal next week.  A goal from Rodrigo Taddei in the 63rd minute was enough to earn the Giallorossi, who lost 3-0 at Atalanta six days ago, all three points in a lacklustre encounter at the Stadio Olimpico. Neither side created many chances, although Siena showed a lot more attacking intent and were unfortunate not to come away with a share of the spoils.