x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

AC Milan wrap up Serie A league title in Italy without much ado

A goalless draw against Roma is enough to give them the title with still two games to go.

ROME // AC Milan claimed an 18th Serie A title following a 0-0 draw at Roma that gave them an unassailable lead at the top of the table with two games to go.

Milan came into the game knowing they needed only a draw to be sure of winning the scudetto crown and they never looked in danger of failing to do so.

The draw pushed their lead over second-placed Inter Milan, who still have three to play, to nine points but with a better head-to-head record, the rosssoneri cannot now be overtaken.

And the title is all the sweeter for Milan who have put an end to their arch rivals Inter's run of five straight league crowns.

This was far from a vintage performance but Milan produced the kind of calm and controlled display necessary to get just what they needed.

They created little themselves but they did come the closest to scoring and gave Roma very little to work with.

The true damage had already been done in the last two months when 3-0 victories at home to their nearest two rivals — Inter and Napoli — consistently kept the competition at bay.

Milan produced a neat passing move on 10 minutes with Clarence Seedorf setting up Kevin-Prince Boateng, who fired high and wide.

Up the other end Rodrigo Taddei flashed a speculative effort wide of the far post.

The chance of the half came on 14 minutes.

Marco Cassetti skipped past Gianluca Zambrotta, dinked the ball to the back post where Ignazio Abate mis-timed his jump and Mirko Vucinic opted to take it down on his chest only for Christian Abbiati to spread himself well to smother his volley.

Roma had possibly the better of the chances as early substitute Aleandro Rosi crossed for Vucinic who hadn't committed himself, allowing Alessandro Nesta to whisk the ball clear.

Rosi then hit a low shot that Abbiati got down to at his near post.

Robinho was quick to wake everyone from their slumber in the first minute of the second half as he curled a shot against the post after Abate had driven at a hesitant Roma defence.

Up the other end Simplicio dragged wide a shot from 20 yards.

On the hour Milan carved Roma open with Massimo Ambrosini chipping the ball over the backline but Boateng's shot drifted agonisingly just past the far post.

Moments later goalkeeper Doni parried Zlatan Ibrahimovic's fierce free-kick with a Juan flailing himself in front of Seedorf to block the follow-up.

Roma finally started to show some signs of urgency as the game wound down but it was too little too late and Milan held on comfortably.