Milan goad Inter with celebratory banner

MILAN - AC Milan goaded rivals Inter Milan by displaying a banner reading "18 titles all on the pitch" as the Rossoneri celebrated their scudetto triumph with a bus tour through the city before a 4-1 win over Cagliari on Saturday.

Milan, who won their first championship since 2004 last weekend, delighted thousands of flag-waving fans in the main square by using the sign to remind Inter one of their 18 titles was won in a courtroom in the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

Inter, who went on to win four more titles in a row, finished third that year but were declared Serie A winners after Juventus were demoted in the 'Calciopoli' affair and second-placed Milan had points deducted.

Saturday's other game saw Lazio's Brazilian midfielder Hernanes score twice in a 4-2 home win over Genoa to lift his side into the fourth Champions League qualifying spot.

Another weekend of matches remain in Italy but the San Siro game meant nothing with Cagliari wallowing in mid-table so a party atmosphere was assured from the off, despite Milan missing out on a double by losing to Palermo in Tuesday's Cup semi.

SAMBA RHYTHM

Brazil's Robinho scored twice in the first half to add a samba rhythm to the festivities while Gennaro Gattuso, in bother for a foul-mouthed rant against Inter coach and ex-Milan boss Leonardo last weekend, popped up with a rare goal in between.

Andrea Cossu pulled one back for Cagliari, bossed by former Milan hero Roberto Donadoni and the previous employers of Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, but the celebrations were not to be dampened as a sea of red and black clad fans sang their hearts out.

Clarence Seedorf, one of a number of elder statesmen at Milan whose contracts are up, bagged the fourth after the break while Filippo Inzaghi received a standing ovation after making his comeback from a knee injury sustained in November.

Milan were awarded the Serie A trophy amid a fanfare after the match with proud owner and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in attendance.

"I above all wanted the lads to finish off in style at home, in front of the fans and the club president who came to see his team, and they've done it in the best of ways," Allegri told reporters.

HERNANES BRACE

Lazio, who visit struggling Lecce in their final game next weekend, moved to 63 points. Giuseppe Biava had put the hosts ahead after six minutes but Rodrigo Palacio soon levelled for mid-table Genoa only for Tommaso Rocchi and Hernanes with a brace to net for Lazio in the second half. Antonio Floro Flores grabbed a late consolation.

Lazio, who flirted with the drop last term, lost 2-1 at Udinese last weekend,

Club president Claudio Lotito was booed by his own fans during the Genoa game amid speculation the Romans may be forced to play European games in Florence next season due to unpaid bills at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.


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