Maldini San Siro swansong soured
Paolo Maldini's final match in front of the San Siro crowd ended in disappointment as Roma stunned AC Milan 3-2. Maldini was making his last appearance in the red and black Milan shirt in front of his home fans, but Francesco Totti's late free-kick runied the party for the 40-year-old veteran, who made his debut for the club in 1985 as a 16-year-old.
And despite Massimo Ambrosini's brace in the final quarter of an hour, Roma snatched a vital three points that secured them a place in next season's Europa League. The result did not do anything, though, to stop Milan's fans paying homage a player who has graced the San Siro pitch for 24 years. No-one left the building as Maldini performed a lap of honour to rousing applause.
The hosts had the first clear chance of the game just before the half hour mark as Pato was sent clean through down the inside left channel. He opened up his body and brought the ball back onto his right foot to try to curl the ball around Roma goalkeeper Artur, but the Brazilian got the slightest touch to deflect it wide.
That save proved crucial seven minutes later as Norway full-back John Arne Riise lashed home a vicious shot after David Pizarro rolled a free-kick into his path. Roma should have gone into the break two up, but Montenegro forward Mirko Vucinic wasted a glorious opportunity in the last minute, rushing his volleyed shot from 17 yards after Riise's deflected effort dropped over into his path.
Milan upped their tempo after the break with substitutes Clarence Seedorf and Ronaldinho bringing them some much-needed energy and invention. On 68 minutes Kaka forced Artur into a fingertip save and then moments later Ronaldinho produced some magic on the left before teeing up Ambrosini, but the midfielder could not get any power behind his header. But soon after that the game exploded into life with Ambrosini to the fore.
On 75 minutes Artur saved Filippo Inzaghi's shot from Kaka's cross and Ambrosini swept home the loose ball. But just five minutes later Roma were back in front as Jeremy Menez twisted and turned in the area before shooting across Dida into the far corner.
That lead lasted only a minute as Ambrosini was left unmarked at the back post to turn home Kaka's cross. Yet back came Roma again and they took the lead for the third time when captain Francesco Totti thumped home a free-kick with five minutes to play.
In other games, champions Inter Milan were beaten 2-1 at Cagliari, while Juventus won for the first time in eight matches, 3-0 at Siena. Lecce will join already-relegated Reggina in Serie B next season after Martin Jorgensen's last minute equaliser for Fiorentina earned them a 1-1 draw at Lecce.
Chievo secured their survival with a 0-0 draw against Bologna, who will have to wait until next weekend to see if they stay up. Either they or Torino, who were beaten 3-2 at home to Genoa, will go down and they are level on 34 points.