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Milan beats Fiorentina 1-0 at home

KAKA impressed in what might have been his last match for AC Milan, a 1-0 win over Fiorentina before 65,000 at San Siro in the Serie A yesterday.

Manchester City has offered Milan a reported world record US$147 million transfer fee for the Brazil midfielder, and the complex deal could be finalized next week.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti was keen to avoid the subject of Kaka, and instead praised another of his midfielders, Clarence Seedorf.

"He player a little bit further back because of Ronaldinho's absence," Ancelotti said. "He did well in defense and not badly in attack."

Kaka had several chances but it was attacking partner Alexander Pato who claimed the score. David Beckham played 81 busy minutes before being replaced by defender Philippe Senderos.

"It was good to get the minutes, get a game again and start a game again," Beckham said.

Milan remained third in the standings with 37 points. Inter Milan leads with 43 followed by Juventus on 39. The pair meet on Sunday. Fiorentina remained fifth.

There was a dispute just after the start at San Siro, when Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati brought down attacker Stevan Jovetic in the fifth minute. Referee Roberto Rosetti awarded Fiorentina a penalty but canceled it after speaking to a linesman.

Milan quickly responded from a corner. Pato curled in his 10th goal of the season past Sebastien Frey.

Pato could have made it 2-0 in the 13th after being played through by Kaka and going past Per Kroldrup. However, the Dane was able to recover and clear the danger.

Just before halftime Beckham had an excellent chance to open his account in Italy but Marco Storari was able to push his low shot away for a corner.

At the start of the second half, Kaka had three good opportunities, but each time the Fiorentina defense blocked his shots.

A Vargas cross reached Mario Santana but his volley was saved by Abbiati. Then five minutes later Vargas slipped the ball to Alberto Gilardino at the near post, but again Abbiati was able to react in time.

Jovetic was Fiorentina's biggest threat but his partner Gilardino was disappointing in his return to San Siro and appeared to lack confidence despite having scored 12 goals this season.

Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli lamented his side's inability to score.

"We were unlucky with some rebounds and in certain phases. But if we played for 90 minutes like we did 70 we would win the championship," he said.

Earlier, Mario Frick gave Siena a 1-0 win at home to Reggina. The Liechtenstein international broke the deadlock in the 75th, taking advantage of a mix-up in the Reggina defense.


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