Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2013 Contents A42
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MILAN---AC Milan secured third spot and a place
in the Champions League after coming from behind
to win 2-1 at Siena yesterday in the final Serie A
round of the season.
Fiorentina crushed Pescara 5-1 but remained in
fourth spot and will play in the Europa League next
Mario Balotelli leveled for Milan from the penalty
spot six minutes from fulltime, and Philippe Mexes
scored the winner three minutes later.
Both teams were contentiously reduced to 10 men
for the final 20 minutes after Milan captain Massimo
Ambrosini and Siena defender Christian Terlizzi were
sent off within moments of each other.
Udinese took the second Europa League berth after
winning 5-2 at Inter Milan for its eighth successive
Milan s achievement is impressive considering
numerous top players, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic
and Thiago Silva, left the club in the last offseason.
The team was 15th in October but has charged up
the standings, losing only three times in the league
since. It went into the final round of matches pro-
tecting a two-point lead over Fiorentina, with both
sides visiting already-relegated clubs.
Siena goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo denied Robinho
and Balotelli in the opening minutes, and did even
better to palm Robinho s fierce strike round the post
in the 21st minute.
Siena took the lead when Claudio Terzi was left
unmarked to head in Alessandro Rosina s pass over
the defense in the 26th.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri brought on
Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy for
M Baye Niang and Antonio Nocerino in the second
However, Ambrosini was sent off for a second
booking after a sliding tackle on Adrian Calello in
the 69th. Siena was also harshly reduced to 10 men
when Terlizzi was shown a second yellow for clattering
into Pazzini. Milan was awarded a penalty when Dias
Felipe hauled down Balotelli. The Italy striker has
never missed a penalty in his professional career and
he duly converted his 23rd from the spot. He has
now scored 12 goals in 13 games for Milan.
The crucial goal came three minutes from time.
Pegolo saved the Milan defender s original shot but
lost the ball and Mexes reacted to toe-poke it home.
Fiorentina has also had a fantastic campaign after
an offseason of change following a disastrous season
in which it finished 13th, just 10 points clear of the
relegation zone. Last season, Delio Rossi was fired
as Fiorentina coach for punching forward Adem Ljajic
during a match.
And it was Ljajic that was again the star as he
notched a hat trick to help Fiorentina to a comfortable
--- but ultimately meaningless --- victory.
Matias Fernandez scored his first Serie A goal and
Stevan Jovetic grabbed the other. Debutant Marco
Vittiglio scored a consolation for Pescara.
It took Udinese just 39 seconds to open the scoring
against Inter as Giampiero Pinzi was given too much
space by Juan Jesus, and he burst forward to score
past former teammate Samir Handanovic. Udinese
went 2-0 up in the 10th minute when an unmarked
Maurizio Domizzi headed in Antonio Di Natale s
cross. Inter reduced the deficit less than two minutes
later, however, when Juan Jesus s shot squirmed under
Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic.
Udinese finished four points above sixth-place
Roma, which beat runner-up Napoli 2-1 after goals
from Marquinho and Mattia Destro.
League top-scorer Edinson Cavani grabbed one
back for Napoli with his 29th goal of the season.
Lazio finished a point behind Roma after losing
1-0 at Cagliari, following Daniele Dessena s header.
Torino twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at home
to Catania, while Parma beat already-relegated Paler-
mo 3-1. (AP)
Milan secures Champs League
spot with dramatic win
AC Milan's Mattia De Sciglio celebrates at the end of
a Serie A football match between Siena and AC
Milan, in Siena, Italy, yesterday. Milan won 2-1.
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