x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

AC Milan tighten grip on Serie A title

Eight points clear in the lead over defending champions Inter, Milan need one point now regardless of their rivals.

AC Milan's Mathieu Flamini waves to the crowd after scoring against FC Bologna.
AC Milan's Mathieu Flamini waves to the crowd after scoring against FC Bologna.

ROME // AC Milan moved within one point of winning the Serie A title with a 1-0 victory over Bologna.

The French midfielder Mathieu Flamini scored in the eighth minute, taking a pass from Robinho and dribbling past two defenders before finding the target from his own rebound.

Milan can now clinch their 18th Italian league championship with either a win or a draw at Roma next weekend.

Milan is eight points clear of five-time defending champion Inter Milan and nine points ahead of Napoli.

On Saturday, Inter beat Cesena 2-1 and Napoli downed Genoa 1-0.

Regardless of how their rivals fare, Milan needs only one point in their remaining three matches to clinch the title, since they hold the tiebreakers over both Inter and Napoli.

After the final whistle, Milan's players saluted the sold-out crowd of 75,121 at the San Siro in a celebratory manner.

"We're going to try to secure the mathematics in Rome," said Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. "At this point we have a decent lead and we ought to win it."

In another of Sunday's matches, Udinese's Champions League chances were hurt with a 5-2 loss at Fiorentina.

Nine-man Roma, meanwhile, kept the Champions League hopes alive with a last-minute 3-2 win over Bari, which was mathematically relegated last week.

Fourth-place Lazio, which hosts Juventus on Monday, are one point in front of Udinese and Roma in the race for the final Champions League berth.

Aleandro Rosi scored the winner for Roma five minutes into added time, redirecting a cross from John Arne Riise with his chest.

Roma wasted a chance to take the lead after being awarded a penalty kick in the 79th, with Bari goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet pushing Francesco Totti's spot kick onto the post.

Totti had already scored twice for his 205th and 206th goals to move past Roberto Baggio to be fifth on Serie A's all-time list.

Totti tied Baggio with a precise free kick around a wall in the 30th, leveling the game at 1-1, then added a penalty in the 57th to draw Roma level again and move past Baggio.

Roma played most of the second half with 10 men after Daniele De Rossi was sent off for an elbow to the face of Bari's Simone Bentivoglio in the 48th.

Bentivoglio had put Roma in front with a penalty in the 25th, and Norwegian forward Erik Huseklepp scored for Bari in the 42nd.

Bari ended with 10 men when Kamil Glik was sent off for protesting in the 78th. The hosts nearly won when Abdel Ghezzal hit the crossbar in the 90th.

Second later, Roma's Simone Perrotta was sent off, leaving Roma with nine men.