The league-leaders were able to get past the visitors at San Siro on Sunday afternoon
AC Milan made another step toward the Serie A title with a 1-0 victory over ten-man Bologna, courtesy of a strike from Mathieu Flamini, but have still not clinched the championship yet but maintain an eight point lead at the top of the table with three matches remaining.
Even a win would not be enough for the Rossoneri to claim the Scudetto in Round 35 after Inter's late win against Cesena on Saturday evening, and Massimiliano Allegri still had to do without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mark van Bommel as well as injured duo Alexandre Pato and Gennaro Gattuso. Meanwhile, Alberto Malesani's Bologna were looking to end a poor run of form after four consecutive losses.
It didn't take long for the home side to go in front as midfielder Flamini, who showed a rare piece of individual flair, burst past the flat-footed Miguel Britos and had his first shot parried by goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano before sliding in the rebound to open the scoring in the eighth minute.
Cassano should have doubled their tally 10 minutes later, but the ex-Sampdoria star failed to convert after receiving the ball deep in the area, though he looked offside despite the lack of the referee's whistle.
The side in red and black were looking fairly comfortable as they controlled midfield and Alessandro Nesta was able to quell the opposition threat of Marco Di Vaio on the rare occasions he received the ball. However, the visitors remained within touching distance as Boateng missed an open header from six yards just past the half-hour mark and Flamini failed to nab his second goal on the stroke of half-time after being set up by Robinho on the counter. Thus, the teams went into the tunnel with the score 1-0 in favour of the title chasers.
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The second-half began with Bologna being more active and pressing for an equaliser as Malesani made a double change in the early exchanges with Francesco Della Rocca and Gaston Ramirez replacing the disappointing Matteo Rubin and invisible Riccardo Meggiorini.
Incredibly AC Milan once again were denied an easy goal. The visitors gave up possession easily in midfield and Cassano sent Robinho on a breakaway, but the Brazilian sliced wide as Nicolo Cherubin raced back and attempted a challenge.
Bologna made their last throw of the dice with 20 minutes remaining, throwing on hot prospect Henry Gimenez in search of a goal, having yet to really test goalkeeper Christian Abbiati. It nearly paid dividends, as the substitute's header flashed wide from a corner and Britos also missed from a similar situation moments later.
Andrea Pirlo made a late cameo, replacing the impressive Kevin-Prince Boateng and there was controversy late on as Della Rocca was sent off for a late tackle on Massimo Ambrosini. Young forward Giacomo Beretta had a few half chances as he also made a brief appearance for AC Milan.
That was the extent of the action, with the hosts able to hold onto their narrow lead despite a rather lacklustre second-half, meaning a point in their next match against Roma would guarantee them the Serie A title. Meanwhile, Bologna remained on 40 points and are not yet completely safe from relegation after their fifth consecutive defeat.