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Italian Serie A

Artemio Franchi (ATT 31,000) 26th March 2014 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: D Orsato

Fiorentina Fiorentina vs AC Milan AC Milan


AC Milan 2

P Mexes (23)
M Balotelli (64)

Italian Serie A: AC Milan beat Fiorentina to ease the pressure on head coach Clarence Seedorf

Last Updated: 26/03/14 10:26pm

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Philippe Mexes of AC Milan celebrates after scoring

Philippe Mexes of AC Milan celebrates after scoring

The pressure was lifted a little from AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf as his side picked up their first win in five games by beating Fiorentina 2-0.

Philippe Mexes and Mario Balotelli scored the goals at the Stadio Artemio Franchi as the Rossoneri celebrated a rare victory to reignite fading hope of qualifying for Europe next season.

La Viola's own European ambitions suffered a setback as they can practically write off clinching a place in the Champions League, with 10 points now separating them from third-placed Napoli.

Balotelli was brought back into the Milan starting XI by Seedorf, who had left him out in the 1-1 draw against Lazio at the weekend.

At the other end of the field, former Milan striker Alessandro Matri was the injured Mario Gomez's replacement, and he nearly marked his return to the starting XI with a goal, missing from close range in the eighth minute.

Balotelli wasted his first chance with a free-kick sailing into the Florence sky in the 21st minute before getting the opportunity to try again from almost the same position just a few minutes later.

This time, he managed to keep the ball down and test Neto, who could only parry the shot out to Mexes, who headed it into the unguarded goal.

Neto pushed a Sulley Muntari effort wide on the half-hour mark before doing the same to keep Adel Taarabt's shot out.

Muntari sent a volley over the crossbar as Milan looked to build on their lead before the break.

Fiorentina had two excellent chances to level matters early in the second half, but Matri again missed the target from close range before another Milan player, Massimo Ambrosini, shot into the side-netting.

Balotelli showed him how it should be done with his third free-kick of the evening finally finding the back of the net.

He curled his shot round the wall and into the top corner, beyond Neto's reach with 64 minutes on the clock.

Fiorentina could not find a way back into the game with Gonzalo Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado both missing the target with Christian Abbiati spending a relatively quiet evening in the Milan goal.

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Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 34 79
2 Roma 34 64
3 Lazio 34 63
4 Napoli 34 59
5 Fiorentina 34 52
6 Sampdoria 34 51
7 Genoa 34 50
8 Inter Milan 34 49
9 Torino 33 48
10 Palermo 34 43
11 AC Milan 34 43
12 Udinese 34 41
13 Chievo 34 41
14 Verona 34 40
15 Empoli 33 38
16 Sassuolo 34 37
17 Atalanta 34 33
18 Cagliari 33 24
19 Cesena 34 24
20 Parma 33 16