Champions Milan Conquer Rome

Póg Mo Goal teams up with Del’s Football Tips to scan the Scudetto.

MASSIMILIANO Allegri has joined a select group including Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Alberto Zaccheroni by winning the Serie A title in his first year with AC Milan. A draw in Rome was all the visitors needed, and it was what they settled for in the end despite having controlled the second half of the game. Milan’s joint top scorer, Zlatan Ibrahimović, has now finished on top of the league every year for the past eight years.

While the Rossoneri ensured that the Scudetto will remain in Milan, last year’s winners Inter booked their place in the Champions League group stages thanks to a 3-1 win over Fiorentina on Sunday. Napoli are likely to join them, though their place is not yet certain following a 2-1 defeat at Lecce. The performance clearly didn’t impress Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who remarked afterwards that “the players were not worthy to wear the jersey and to represent the colours of Napoli.”

Lecce’s win lifted them out of the relegation zone, but it spelled bad news for Sampdoria, whose future in the top flight looks bleak following their dramatic derby defeat on Sunday evening. On-loan Argentinian Mauro Boselli sealed a 2-1 win for Genoa with what was literally the last kick of the game, deep in stoppage time. Sampdoria, who began this season in the Champions League qualifiers, are now two points from safety with a couple of tough games remaining against Palermo and Roma.

Brescia were relegated on Sunday after being beaten 2-1 by Catania, their 20th defeat of the season. A terrible run of recent form, which has seen them win only one of their last twelve, means that the Rondinelle will be making an instant return to Serie B.

Udinese leapfrogged Lazio and moved into fouth place when two first-half goals from Antonio Di Natale earned his side a 2-1 win over the Romans on Sunday. Mauro Zarate was presented with an opportunity to spark a comeback for the visitors, but his weak second-half penalty was easily saved by Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. Substitute Libor Kozak’s 76th-minute strike turned out to be nothing more than a consolation goal for Lazio. Udinese are now two points ahead of both Lazio and Roma, but with two games remaining – and considering the recent erratic form of these three sides – the battle for the final Champions League place is likely to go down to the wire.

Elsewhere, Cesena took a huge step towards survival in Serie A when they won 2-0 atCagliari. Palermo came from behind to beat Bari 2-1 at the Stadio Renzo Barbera on Saturday. And finally, nobody was surprised when Bologna and Parma played out a 0-0 draw on Sunday. The odds on the draw had shrunk to 2/5 by kick-off time, and one report on the game noted that “chances were at a premium after the break, with both sides seemingly lacking energy.” Hmmm.

Juventus have an opportunity to move within three points of Udinese this evening when they take on Chievo before the focus turns to the Coppa Italia in midweek. AC Milan, remarkably, have never won the league and cup double in their 111-year history, but they have an opportunity to do so this season. The newly-crowned champions travel to Palermo tomorrow for the second leg of their semi-final, with the tie evenly balanced at 2-2. Inter will then host Roma on Wednesday, having won the first leg of their semi-final 1-0.

Serie A: week 36 results:

Juventus 2-2 Chievo

Bologna 0-0 Parma

Brescia 1-2 Catania

Cagliari 0-2 Cesena

Genoa 2-1 Sampdoria

Inter 3-1 Fiorentina

Lecce 2-1 Napoli

Udinese 2-1 Lazio

Palermo 2-1 Bari

Roma 0-0 AC Milan

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