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Milan close up on city rivals Inter at top

  • Story Highlights
  • AC Milan up to second in Serie A with 1-0 home victory over Chievo Verona
  • Brazilian star Kaka scores only goal of the game with 15th minute penalty
  • Napoli's title challenge falters with 3-1 defeat at Atalanta
  • Roma beat Lazio 1-0 in capital derby marred by crowd violence before game
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(CNN) -- AC Milan maintained their Serie A title challenge with a narrow 1-0 win over bottom club Chievo Verona 1-0 on Sunday.

Brazilian superstars Kaka and Ronaldinho celebrate Milan's victory at the San Siro.

The victory leaves them one point behind their city rivals and defending champions Inter at the top of the Italian standings.

Milan's playmaker Kaka scored a 15th minute penalty at the San Siro after getting tripped while attempting to collect a pass from fellow Brazilian star Ronaldinho.

"It could be that the foul was outside the area, but only the replays could establish that," Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "Nobody could be sure when they saw it live.

"The only negative note was that we didn't finish the game off sooner with all that we created. We shouldn't have let the score stay 1-0 until the end."

Indeed Milan struggled for long stretches against Chievo, who have won only one game.

With Marco Borriello out injured, Ancelotti made only one substitution, bringing on Alexandre Pato for Filippo Inzaghi after an hour.

Milan's veteran midfielder Clarence Seedorf nearly made it 2-0 in added time.

Meanwhile Napoli's title challenge faltered with a 3-1 defeat to Atalanta in Bergamo.

Adriano Ferreira Pinto had already put Atalanta ahead 1-0 when Napoli forward Marcelo Zalayeta picked up his second yellow card in the 67th, leaving the visitors with 10 men.

Napoli forward Marek Hamsik converted a penalty in the 73rd following a foul by defender Thomas Manfredini to make it 1-1.

Atalanta coach Luigi Del Neri was so incensed by the award he was shown red by the referee for his protests.

But he was smiling a minute from time as Manfredini scored from a free kick to restore Atalanta's lead.

Sergio Floccari added another goal for in injury time.

Inter lead with 27 points from Milan with 26, Juventus on 24 and Napoli 23.

In Sunday's late kickoff, AS Roma snapped a five-match winless streak and moved out of the relegation zone by beating 10-man Lazio 1-0 in the capital's derby.

Julio Baptista scored in the 50th minute at Stadio Olimpico, using a header to redirect a pass from captain Francesco Totti.

Lazio midfielder Cristian Ledesma picked up his second yellow card in the 66th for a foul on Baptista, while Lazio strikers Tommas Rocchi and Goran Pandev missed clear chances to equalize in the 70th and 74th, respectively.

But the match was overshadowed by violence before the game as eight fans were arrested following clashes with police outside the stadium before the game.

A group of about 200 fans threw objects at police ahead of the game, the ANSA news agency reported. It said 15 police officers were injured before the situation was brought under control

On Saturday, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Inter went back to the top with a 2-0 win at Palermo.

Juventus routed Genoa 4-1 on Thursday to temporarily join Inter atop the standings. Inter and Juventus play next weekend.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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