Roma beat Milan to keep title chance alive
Rome: Roma snapped AC Milan`s winning streak with a 2-0 win at home Friday to keep their Serie A title hope alive.
The win, while moving Roma within five points of leaders Juventus, dented Milan`s hopes of qualification for the Europa League. Milan headed into the game riding on the back of five straight wins, a run which has seen them move into seventh and within striking distance of a place in Europe`s second-tier club competition.
Juventus could have grabbed their third straight Scudetto if Roma had lost or drawn against Milan, but Miralem Pjanic and Gervinho scored to keep the capital club`s hopes intact for at least another week.
Roma gained the lead two minutes before half-time with an eye-catching individual goal from Pjanic, architect and finisher combined. He threw Sulley Muntari a dummy, skipping past the challenges of both Riccardo Montolivo and Adil Rami before side-footing his shot past Christian Abbiati.
The visitors rarely threatened to equalise and Gervinho pounced on Christian Abbiati`s error 20 minutes into the second half to wrap up the points and take their title fight a week further. Milan coach Clarence Seedorf`s response was to send on Giampaolo Pazzini, removing a perplexed, yet ineffective Mario Balotelli.
Milan started the second half brightly and spurned a half-chance as Riccardo Montolivo fired wide from Kaka`s pull back. Seedorf defended Balotelli, who seemed irritable, insulting teammate Adel Taarabt and then saying something to Seedorf as he was substituted.
"Balotelli was unable to express himself to the full tonight, but that can happen after several weeks of impressive performances," said Seedorf. "I have been in locker rooms for many years and these things happen. Balotelli and Taarabt talked, there are no problems between them. It`s best to avoid these things, though in the heat of the game they can happen and all players know what it`s like out there," he said.