Italian Football: Milan winners again

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The Independent Online
MILAN, who failed to become champions of Europe last week, succeeded in becoming champions of Italy yesterday, writes Owen Slot. Their season's close may have been a bit of a cough and a splutter after the majestic months that went before, but, with one game still to play, all they needed yesterday, at home to relegation- threatened Brescia, was a single point to set the champagne popping.

The packed Milan crowd were not to be quietened by another off-colour performance which saw Milan go ahead in the 82nd minute with a powerful shot from midfielder Demetrio Albertini, only to concede a late equaliser. Milan became the first team to retain the title for a decade; they are now level with Internazionale on 13 titles, Juventus lead with 22.

Post-match attention turned to the future of Milan's Dutch players: Frank Rijkaard looks certain to leave, Ruud Gullit said he would probably follow suit. 'My impression is that I am going away. I will never forget this crowd but I have not changed my mind,' he said. Silvio Berlusconi, the club president, stressed that Gullit's situation is still open but, about Rijkaard, said that 'he does not feel able to maintain the level of performance the club demands.' He added that Milan were interested in Daniel Fonseca, Napoli's Uruguayan striker, and Stefan Effenberg, Fiorentina's German midfielder.

Second-placed Internazionale yesterday lost their 19-match unbeaten run, at third-placed Parma. Lazio's

4-3 victory over Napoli moves them up into fourth place and guarantees a place in the Uefa Cup next season.

Udinese stepped up the fight against relegation, beating Ancona

2-0. Their first goal was scored by Marek Kozminski, the midfielder who had played for Poland against England less than 24 hours earlier.

ITALIAN LEAGUE: Atalanta 1 (Ganz 86) Genoa 2 (Fortunato 46, Ruotolo 78); Foggia 1 (Mandelli 48) Cagliari 1 (Francescoli 65); Lazio 4 (Riedle 5, 7, Signori pen 40, Fuser 50) Napoli 3 (Zola 10, pen 61, Francini 47); Milan 1 (Albertini 82) Brescia 1 (Brunetti 83); Parma 2 (Melli 18, Cuoghi 64) Internazionale 0; Pescara 5 (Allegri pen 35, 49, Borgonovo 59, Martorelli 86, Palladini 87) Juventus 1 (Ravanelli 4); Sampdoria 2 (Invernizzi 43, Mancini pen 89) Roma 2 (Giannini 75, Rizzitelli 77); Torino 1 (Aguilera 16) Fiorentina 1 (Batistuta 89); Udinese 2 (Kozminski 36, Calori 63) Ancona 0.

----------------------------------------------------------------- P W D L F A Pts ----------------------------------------------------------------- Milan (C) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 18 13 2 63 31 49 Internazionale . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 16 12 5 56 36 44 Parma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 16 8 9 46 33 40 Lazio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 13 12 8 64 47 38 Juventus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 14 9 10 55 46 37 Sampdoria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 12 12 9 49 45 36 Cagliari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 13 9 11 41 33 35 Torino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 9 17 7 38 35 35 Atalanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 13 8 12 40 44 34 Roma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 8 16 9 41 38 32 Foggia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 10 12 11 37 49 32 Napoli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 10 11 12 48 49 31 Genoa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 7 16 10 39 53 30 Udinese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 10 9 14 41 47 29 Fiorentina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 7 14 12 48 54 28 Brescia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 8 12 13 33 43 28 Ancona (R) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 6 7 20 39 71 19 Pescara (R) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 6 5 22 47 71 17 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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