AC Milan won 3-1 at Messina on Sunday to climb into
fourth spot in the Italian league to continue their late season charge following
qualification for the Champions League semi-finals.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti has said all along this season that fourth spot, and a
place in the Champions League next season, was his team's aim after they started
with an eight-point deficit for their involvement in the match-fixing scandal.
Kaka and Giuseppe Favalli put Milan two goals ahead in the first half hour and
Ronaldo scored a third near the end though Messina's Salvatore Masiello found
the net in injury time.
AC Milan's victory comes just four days after their 2-0 victory at Bayern Munich
which put them into the Champions League semi-finals 4-2 on aggregate.
"The team is going through a very good period," Ancelotti told Sky Sport, adding:
"The battle for fourth place will continue right up till the last match."
Palermo drew 2-2 at Inter Milan in Sunday's late match, leaving them in fifth
spot a point below AC Milan. Inter are still unbeaten, having won 25 of their 31
Inter had to fight back from two goals down after first half goals by Palermo's
Andrea Caracciolo and Cristian Zaccardo. Luis Figo then set up two goals after
the break to bring Inter into the match, Argentina's Julio Cruz scoring with a
header and then Adriano finding the net.
Inter have 81 points, with Roma second on 65, and it is hardly a crisis for
Roberto Mancini's men although this is the first time they have been held to two
consecutive draws following their goalless match against Reggina last weekend.
Lazio are third on 56, fourth-placed AC Milan have 50 points and Palermo are on
Second-placed Roma also had a big victory with Francesco Totti scoring twice in
a 4-0 thrashing of Sampdoria following their Champions League humiliation in
midweek. Totti confirmed his place as league top scorer with 20 goals.
Roma lost 7-1 to Manchester United in their quarter-final, second leg at Old
Trafford on Tuesday.
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti told Sky Sport: "I knew there would be a reaction
because I know my players well. I work with them and I know how seriously they
Roma's city rivals Lazio, however, could only draw 2-2 at bottom club Ascoli to
end their run of eight consecutive victories.