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AC Milan upset Roma to blow open Champions League race


Players of AC Milan celebrating after a goal. PHOTO:

Players of AC Milan celebrating after a goal. PHOTO:

Roma failed to strengthen their grip on second place in Serie A after goals from Marco Van Ginkel and Mattia Destro saw struggling AC Milan win 2-1 to blow the race for the Champions League wide open.

Van Ginkel’s first Serie A goal five minutes before half-time and a close range header from former Roma striker Destro just before the hour mark were enough for Milan to win for the first time in six games, despite a Francesco Totti penalty letting Roma back into the game 17 minutes from time.

Rudi Garcia’s Roma stay second on 64 points but they are only a point ahead of capital city rivals Lazio, who host Inter Milan on Sunday night.

They could also find fourth-placed Napoli only two behind them at the end of the weekend should Rafael Benitez’s side win at already-relegated Parma as expected.

In Saturday’s earlier game, Cagliari spoiled Juventus’ home title celebrations and Paul Pogba’s goal-scoring return after two months out by snatching a late 1-1 draw to keep their slim Serie A survival hopes alive.

Defender Luca Rossettini struck five minutes from the end in Turin, pouncing on the rebound off the post of his own header to cancel out Pogba’s 45th-minute opener, and close the gap between third-from-bottom Cagliari and Atalanta, who travel to Palermo on Sunday, to five points.

Pogba was the best player on the pitch before being substituted an hour into the match, but coach Massimiliano Allegri said that he was undecided whether he would start against Real Madrid on Wednesday when Juve try to a defend a 2-1 Champions League semi-final first leg lead.

“I will assess the situation between now and Wednesday, but I’ve seen in training that he’s in good physical condition. He’s a young lad and he’s in good shape,” said Allegri.

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