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AC Milan clinch 17th Serie A crown

Alessandro Nesta celebrates with teammates and fans after Milan clinch the Serie A title.

MILAN, Italy -- AC Milan clinched their 17th Italian title with a controversial 1-0 win over nearest challengers AS Roma on Sunday.

A second minute header from Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko gave Milan the victory to leave them nine points clear with just two games left.

But Shevchenko later appeared to handball in his own area after a free kick and when the penalty was refused Roma fans threw a firecracker which hit Milan's Gennaro Gattuso.

During the incident, Roma captain Francesco Totti, who had taken the free kick, ran over and grabbed the shirt of referee Domenico Messina to plead for a penalty, but Messina apparently did not see the handball, or ruled that it was unintentional.

As Gattuso was treated, Roma and Milan players argued the call among themselves on the field and Roma coach Fabio Capello walked over toward his club's fans in an attempt to calm them down.

Gattuso eventually got up and re-entered the match, but Roma fans continued to pelt the field with firecrackers and other objects and Milan goalkeeper Dida was hit three times in the closing minutes.

European champions Milan were firmly in control of the game after they got the best possible start when Brazilian Kaka produced a pinpoint cross from the right and Shevchenko rose superbly to head past sprawling Roma keeper Ivan Pelizzoli.

There were surprise results elsewhere in Serie A with relegation-threatened Perugia beating third-placed Juventus 1-0 and lowly Lecce beating Inter Milan 2-1.

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