Soccer

Roma earns ninth straight win to hold off Juventus title party

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The Canadian Press
4/25/2014 5:19:33 PM
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ROME - Refusing to concede the Serie A title, Roma produced a convincing 2-0 win over AC Milan on Friday that will keep Juventus from celebrating for at least another week.

Miralem Pjanic dribbled through the defence to score an extraordinary goal in the 43rd minute at the Stadio Olimpico and Gervinho added another from a rebound in the 65th for Roma's ninth straight victory — ending Milan's five-match winning streak.

With only three matches to play, Roma moved within five points of Juventus, which visits relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Monday.

While Juventus can clinch the title if it beats Sassuolo and Atalanta a week later no matter what Roma does, the Giallorossi are hoping the title race stays open until they host the leader in the penultimate round.

If Roma had not beaten Milan, Juve could have clinched Monday.

"We won't give up until the end but it doesn't depend on us," said Roma forward Adem Ljajic, who came close to scoring in the first half. "We're going to fight until the end and see what happens."

With a win at Catania next weekend, Roma can match its 10-game winning streak to open the season.

Milan, still trying to secure a spot in Europe, remained tied with Parma in sixth place.

After a slow start, Roma took control by dominating possession and Pjanic dribbled by three defenders before slotting the ball past Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, who could only get a weak hand on the ball.

"A goal like that you see once in a lifetime," Ljajic said.

Pjanic nearly scored again in the 53rd but Abbiati blocked his effort, which was set up by a free kick scheme from Totti.

Gervinho then doubled the lead by pounding in a rebound of a hard shot from Totti for his ninth goal of a season that has seen the Ivory Coast forward revive his career after a difficult spell with Arsenal.

Milan forward Mario Balotelli wasted a couple chances in the first half and was largely ineffective, leading to his substitution by Giampaolo Pazzini in the 69th.

Gervinho (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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