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Fiorentina deny Milan second spot in Serie A

AC Milan missed the chance to go second in Serie A on Saturday after falling to a 2-1 defeat at Fiorentina, ending a recent upturn in form for the reigning champions.

Nicolas Gonzalez’s penalty three minutes after the break and a late Luka Jovic header earned Fiorentina the three points and ended Milan’s four-match winning streak ahead of their Champions League showdown at Tottenham on Wednesday.

Theo Hernandez grabbed a late consolation for Milan.

Milan are fourth, level on 47 points with local rivals Inter Milan who host Lecce on Sunday and one behind Lazio after their stunning win at leaders Napoli on Friday moved the capital club second.

Roma can move onto the same points as the Milan giants with a win over Juventus on Sunday night.

Fiorentina meanwhile stay 12th, level on 31 points with Torino, after a win which came on the fifth anniversary of former Viola captain Davide Astori’s death.

Astori died in his sleep in a hotel room on this day in 2018, aged just 31, when Milan coach Stefano Pioli was in charge at Fiorentina.

The former defender came through the youth ranks at Milan and was applauded by the more than 40,000 fans at the Stadio Artemio Franchi when play was stopped in the 13th minute in honour of his old shirt number.

Defeat for Milan will be a relief to Atalanta, whose bid for Champions League football took another hit on Saturday after a drab goalless draw with Udinese.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side stay sixth and five points off Italy’s top four following an uninspiring performance against their off-form opponents in Bergamo.

Rafael Toloi went closest for the hosts, his dipping strike in the final minute brilliantly tipped away by Marco Silvestri.

Udinese have won just once since early October and sit ninth, level on 32 points with Monza who beat Empoli 2-1 in Saturday’s early match.

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