AC Milan crowned Seria A kings after Roma draw Last updated Sunday May 8,2011 7:46am
By Eastsportsonline staff
Milan clinched their 18th Serie A title after sharing a goalless draw with Roma in their clash at the Stadio Olimpico.
Robinho came closest to breaking the deadlock as he hit the post just seconds after half-time, but the draw ensured that Milan claimed the Scudetto and in so doing ended five straight years of dominance from rivals Internazionale.
The point gave the Rossoneri a nine-point lead over second-placed Inter, who can only match their rivals' tally with wins in their three remaining games starting with a home match against Fiorentina on Sunday.
As goal difference does not count in Serie A and the head-to-head record of the two teams is used, Milan will now be crowned champions for the first time since 2004 given they beat Inter in both fixtures this term.
Roma were without banned midfielders Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta, while Alexandre Pato returned from a three-week layoff due to a thigh injury to take his place on the Milan bench.
The best chance of the first half fell to Mirko Vucinic who should have beaten the excellent Christian Abbiati from close range after latching on to a fine delivery from Marco Cassetti, with the Milan keeper distinguishing himself with a fine reflex save.
Nesta, on his 400th Serie A appearance, then made a crucial intervention in the 23rd minute as Cassetti again caused havoc down the right wing and almost found Vucinic with another devilish delivery.
Aleandro Rosi was brought on in an enforced change for Roma after midfielder Matteo Brighi appeared to have sustained knee ligament damage in innocuous fashion midway through the half.
Allegri introduced Massimo Ambrosini at the break to replace the veteran midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, and Milan kept the ball in almost mesmeric fashion at the start of the second half.
Just seconds after the restart, Robinho struck the far post of Roma's goal after the Brazilian jinked inside Cassetti and curled an exquisite shot against the woodwork with Doni comprehensively beaten.
The second half was a scrappy affair, but Milan had the better chances and looked the more likely to break the deadlock.
Boateng went agonisingly close to netting with a delicate stabbed shot under pressure from both Nicolas Burdisso and Doni which drifted narrowly wide of the far post after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had slipped him through.
Both managers made changes in a fragmented second period in which neither side was able to seize the initiative or create any further clear-cut chances to breach two stout defences.
The final whistle prompted jubilant celebrations from the entire Milan squad and staff as the Stadio Olimpico became a victory parade for the visitors.
Winning the title after such a long wait for a European giant will make the triumph extra special for Massimiliano Allegri's side while the fact they subsequently ended Inter's five-year stranglehold on the Scudetto made it all the sweeter for Milan fans.
"To win in my first season is very satisfying," Allegri said. "I want to thank the president for giving me such a strong squad. For the future, we need to improve an already strong squad and the president has said he will give us a present and we're all happy."
The championship presentation was not held at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, but Milan will instead wait for their San Siro home game against coach Allegri's former side Cagliari on May 14.