MILAN - AC Milan clinched the third automatic Champions League place after comfortably winning 2-0 at fourth-placed Fiorentina on a day of goodbyes for Serie A on Sunday. Brazilians Kaka and Alexandre Pato netted in the second half in Paolo Maldini's last game before retirement and the final match in charge for Carlo Ancelotti, who is now widely expected to join Chelsea. "Today is the moment to say thanks because this club has given me eight splendid years," Ancelotti told reporters. The match was also David Beckham's last for Milan until at least the end of the year. He plans to return to the San Siro from parent club Los Angeles Galaxy if a deal is reached. Fiorentina could have snatched third spot with a handsome win, which would have put them level with Milan but with a better head-to-head record, but instead they will have to settle for the Champions League qualifiers next term. The final day of the season was kinder to Juventus, who beat Lazio 2-0 thanks to Vincenzo Iaquinta's double and finished second thanks to their better record over Milan. The win boosts coach Ciro Ferrara's hopes of being given the job full time following Claudio Ranieri's recent sacking. Chief executive Jean Claude Blanc said they would take their time deciding on a replacement. Bari's Antonio Conte and Bordeaux's Laurent Blanc have been linked with the job in the media. Ex-Juve defender Ferrara, the club's former youth team coach and still an assistant to Italy boss Marcello Lippi, said: "I don't like blowing my own trumpet but it is human to hope." Pavel Nedved, playing against his former side, received a standing ovation on his final game for the Turin club. The Czech winger, 36, was quoted by some media as saying he was now definitely retiring having earlier left the door slightly open for a move to another side. The city's other club, Torino, had a dreadful day in contrast and were relegated after three seasons in Serie A. SLOPPY DEFEAT They lost 3-2 at AS Roma and will be reacquainted with already relegated Reggina and Lecce in Serie B next term. The sloppy defeat, typical of an inconsistent season, meant Bologna were safe irrespective of their 3-1 win over Catania. Sixth-placed Roma, who will join city rivals and Italian Cup winners Lazio in the Europa League next season, have parties interested in a takeover and the future of coach Luciano Spalletti is not certain after a disappointing campaign. Inter Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also considering his future, ended up as Serie A's top scorer with 25 goals after netting twice as the recently crowned champions won 4-3 at home to Atalanta. "I don't know what I still have to do in Italy," the Swede told reporters after bagging the winner with a backheel. "If something has to happen, it must happen after this match. We will see what happens. I still know nothing." Inter's retiring winger Luis Figo said a definite goodbye to the San Siro when he was substituted just before the break. Genoa duo Diego Milito and Thiago Motta, set to move to Inter, left the Europa League-bound club with a 4-1 win over Lecce while Atalanta's Gigi Del Neri and Catania's Walter Zenga were among other Serie A bosses bidding farewell to their sides.
31 May 2009
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