AC Milan moved a step closer to their first Scudetto since 2004 with a narrow 1-0 win over Bologna at the San Siro. I Rossoneri did the bare minimum to take all three points with a goal from Mathieu Flamini in the eighth minute enough to take Massimiliano Allegri's side eight points clear with three games remaining.
"Today's victory has brought us closer to the Scudetto," Allegri said. "But we still need one more point and we will try to get it at Roma on Saturday."
The win extended Milan's winning run in the league to five games. "It was not an easy match," Allegri said. "Bologna made life difficult for us and there was more pressure on this game than in our previous matches.
"We knew we had to win this game considering that Inter won at Cesena and we did just that. I am very happy with my team's performance and now we will look forward to our next game."
The home side showed little motivation after their goal, although they missed several gilt-edged chances to double their lead and almost paid the price in the second half as Bologna improved.
But the visitors were unable to equalise and ended the game with ten men as Francesco Della Rocca was sent off eight minutes from time. Milan now need just one more win to secure their 18th Serie A title.
It looked like it would be an easy afternoon for Milan when Flamini put them ahead in the eighth minute. A burst of pace took him into the area after receiving Robinho's pass and, although his first shot was saved by Emiliano Viviano, the ball spilled out and the Frenchman took his second chance.
Della Rocca receives red
Milan had opportunities to double their lead, with Antonio Cassano shooting straight at Viviano when clean through on goal in the 17th minute. Flamini then missed another one on one with Viviano making a save, and he did not get a second chance this time.
Robinho added another simple miss to his growing collection this season in the 61st minute when he shot wide with just Viviano to beat. Bologna responded and Henry Gimenez had a free header from eight yards that he directed wide of the post in the 76th minute.
It was a warning that Milan did not heed as another corner was met by Miguel Britos in the 80th minute, and his header missed the other post by a matter of inches.
Della Rocca was harshly given his marching orders two minutes later for a foul on Alessandro Nesta in midfield and the ten men were unable to threaten Milan any further.