Milan, May 13 (IANS) AC Milan were held to a scoreless draw at home by Roma in a game marred by racism.
Racist chanting was heard from the visiting fans early in the second half and referee Gianluca Rocchi was forced to temporarily suspend proceedings Sunday. The game resumed after Roma icon Francesco Totti appealed to the fans but both sides failed to break the deadlock, leaving Milan’s hopes of UEFA Champions League football hang in the balance, reports Xinhua.
Both sides ended the game with 10 men after Sulley Muntari was sent off for a bizarre case of dissent while Totti received his marching orders for an elbow on Philippe Mexes deep into stoppage time.
Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted he is “calm” about his side’s Champions League chances. The race for third is particularly tricky as Fiorentina have a superior head-to-head record so if they finish level on points with Milan then the Viola will get third place.
The gap is now only two points and next Sunday Fiorentina take on Pescara while Milan visit Siena, two teams who are already relegated.
“We have a game left and we have to win. At the end of the first half we had some difficulties, then went down to 10-men and strangely played a little better after that,” said Allegri.
“It’s a shame that we only got a point as we have to stretch this season out to the very end. But we are aware that we can go to win at Siena. Don’t forget Fiorentina have to win too, so we’ve both got a battle on our hands.”
Roma now have to win the Coppa Italia final to qualify for next season’s Europa League.
Fiorentina did their part to keep the pressure on Milan by relegating Palermo with a 1-0 win. Luca Toni popped up to score the only goal of the game, sealing the fate of his former club nearly five minutes before half-time. A low, drilled cross from Juan Cuadrado on the right found the veteran stiker Toni, who was left with a simple tap in from close range.
Palermo will be joined in Serie B next season by Siena, who lost 1-2 away to runners-up Napoli. Siena’s survival hopes were given a glimmer of hope after 36 minutes when they took a surprise lead through Fabrizio Grillo 10 minutes before half time but were pegged back by Edinson Cavani’s second-half strike.
A late goal in the last few moments of the game from Marek Hamsik sealed the points for Napoli and added to Siena’s misery.
Those results meant Genoa’s safety was confirmed as they secured a resolute 0-0 draw at home to a disappointing Inter.
Meanwhile, Antonio di Natale scored on either side of half-time to secure a 2-1 win for Udinese against Atalanta, keeping them on track for Europa League qualification.
Lazio kept their own slim hopes of European qualification alive with a 2-0 win at home to Sampdoria, with goals coming from Sergio Floccari and Antonio Candreva.
Elsewhere, goals from Saphir Taider and Davide Moscardelli handed Bologna the bragging rights over Parma in the Emilia derby while Torino guaranteed their Serie A status thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Chievo.