May 07, 2012
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Juventus crowned Serie A champion

Juventus won the Serie A title for the 28th time following a 2-0 win at Cagliari as nearest rivals AC Milan crashed 4-2 in their city derby against Inter today.

That gave Juve an unassailable four-point lead at the top with just one game left.

Mirko Vucinic and a Michele Canini own goal gave the Old Lady of Turin victory in Trieste, where Cagliari have been playing recent home games.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace for Milan but Inter's Diego Milito eclipsed him with a hat-trick, while Maicon put the icing on the cake late on with a fine long-range strike.

It was Juve's first title since 2003 in the record books due to the fact they were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 crowns for match-fixing.

Just as they were in mid-week, Juve got off to a blistering start, taking the lead after just six minutes.

Vucinic beat the offside trap and slotted between goalkeeper Michael Agazzi's legs, although there was a hint of offside.

Juve then suffered a blow when right wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner was carried off on a stretcher following a clash of heads with Mauricio Pinilla.

Pinilla was a whisker away from equalising with a shot from distance that skidded just past the post.

And Cagliari wasted a four-on-one counter-attack when Pinilla and Andrea Cossu were guilty of indecision.

Agazzi saved well from Vucinic, while Martin Caceres headed wide from a corner but a woeful attempted clearance from Canini looped over the goalkeeper and in to double the visitors' lead.

At the San Siro, Milan should have taken an early lead but Ibrahimovic failed to hit the target from six yards from Robinho's cross.

They were made to pay on 14 minutes as Walter Samuel headed Wesley Sneijder's free-kick back into the danger zone and Milito was there to slot home.

Inter threatened to run away with it as Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati saved from Sneijder before Lucio knocked in the rebound, only to be ruled offside.

Milan escaped when Abbiati clawed an Esteban Cambiasso header back from seemingly behind the line, only for the referee to wave play on.

Abbiati then saved at his near post from Sneijder but was forced off with an injury, as defender Daniele Bonera had been earlier, forcing Milan into two changes before half-time.

They were given a lifeline just before the break when the referee pointed to the spot after Kevin-Prince Boateng went down under a challenge from goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Replays showed Cesar clearly took the ball but despite trying to psyche out his former team-mate with some choice words, he could not keep out Ibrahimovic's spot-kick.

And within 30 seconds of the restart, the turnaround was complete as Ibrahimovic turned cleverly on the edge of the box to beat Maicon and Lucio and then dinked the ball over Cesar.

But only a few minutes later Ignazio Abate stupidly grabbed Milito around the neck in the box to give away a penalty and the Argentine stepped up to score his second.

Moments later Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari somehow knocked the ball wide with his thigh from inside the six-yard box.

And the end came for Milan when Alessandro Nesta was adjudged to have handled in the box and Milito smashed home his hat-trick goal 11 minutes from time.

Maicon's stunning, rising shot into the top-left corner from distance was just an added bonus for Inter.

Earlier, Udinese took charge of the race for a Champions League finish as they beat Genoa 2-0 and closest rivals Napoli fell by the same scoreline at Bologna.

The two sides were level on points coming into the match but this result means Udinese will guarantee third spot if they avoid defeat away to Catania next weekend.

Genoa's defeat means they are still not safe from relegation despite Lecce's 1-0 home defeat against Fiorentina on Saturday.

Genoa need a point from their final game of the season to survive.

Lazio are still in the race for third after a 2-0 win at Atalanta.

AFP




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