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Milan defeats Inter to tighten championship race
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Inter Milan will have to wait at least one more week for its third straight Serie A title after losing to city rival AC Milan 2-1 yesterday.

Filippo Inzaghi scored in the 51st minute -- his ninth goal in the last five games -- with a header off a cross from Kaka. Five minutes later, Kaka made it 2-0 by beating Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a low shot from inside the area.

Inter striker Julio Ricardo Cruz cut Milan's lead in the 76th with a free kick from well outside the area that curved around the defensive barrier and beat goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac, who didn't move.

Second-place AS Roma defeated Sampdoria 3-0 to cut Inter's lead to three points with two games to go.

Inter has 81 points, followed by Roma with 78, Juventus with 70 and Milan with 60. Inter beat Roma 4-1 in their first meeting this year in Rome and the teams drew 1-1 in Milan, which means that Inter takes the title if the teams finish with the same number of points.

Inter needs one victory in its last two games to take the championship. If Roma loses one of its last two games, Inter would also win the league title.

"We knew this was going to be a difficult game in which it was going to be hard to earn points in the standings," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. "We had three games to get three points and win the championship and we have two games left to do that."

The victory moved Milan into fourth place, one point ahead of Fiorentina, and into the last spot for next year's Champions League. After an early exit from the Champions League this year and a disappointing season, Milan has struggled to get to fourth place.

"We reached our goal which was the Champions League," Kaka said. "We aren't going to win the league title, but we have played well at the end of the season."

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