Roma edges Milan to close in on Inter in Serie A


Milan : Second placed Roma rallied to clinch a 2-1 victory over visiting AC Milan Saturday that pushed them within three points of Serie A leaders Inter Milan.

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Roma have now 61 points, while defending champions Inter look to improve on their 64 points Sunday at home against Palermo.

Strikers Ludovic Giuly and Mirko Vucinic reversed the score with late goals after Kaka gave Milan the lead 11 minutes after the break.

The in-form Dutchman Clarence Seedorf provided a first useful feed for Kaka on the 26th minute, while Roma captain Francesco Totti missed a mouthwatering chance firing wide three minutes later.

Seedorf tried to break into the area with no luck before Brazil star Kaka on the 38th minute missed another header in a fairly dull first half.

There was more action after the break and on the 53rd minute Seedorf once again threatened Roma goal with a low drive, which was well saved by custodian Alexander Doni.

Milan continued to attack and were on target three minutes later as Kaka volleyed past his compatriot goalkeeper off a cross from Massimo Oddo.

With Roma on the ropes, Doni had to block a spurt from Seedorf and later a Kaka effort off an Andrea Pirlo assist, before coach Luciano Spalletti brought on match winners Giuly and Vucinic.

The Frenchman Giuly levelled on the 78th minute, flicking home the equaliser and three minutes later, Montenegro’s Vucinic beat Zeljko Kalac with a precise drive off a Totti assist to put Roma ahead.

Milan remained rooted in fifth position on 46 points and failed to leapfrog fourth-place Fiorentina in the race for the four available Champions League berths. The Florence side lead Milan by one point ahead of a home game to Genoa.

Udinese moved up to 41 points after an earlier 2-2 draw with mid-table Lazio and occupied the sixth place that grants the team their second UEFA Cup berth.