AC Milan and Inter Milan secured matching 2-0 victories over Roman clubs as they briefly swopped places in Serie A ahead of their Champions League semi-final clash.
Milan briefly jumped from sixth to fourth, leapfrogging Inter, with a home victory over second-place Lazio in the early game.
“We played a great game, now there is plenty of time to recover ahead of the semi-final against Inter,” said Milan coach Stefano Pioli.
“Now let’s think about the Champions League.”
Inter then jumped back to fourth when they won away at Roma, keeping Jose Mourinho’s team outside the European places.
At the San Siro, Ismael Bennacer pounced on a loose ball in the Lazio area and thrashed his shot home to give AC Milan the lead in the 17th minute.
After 29 minutes, wingback Theo Hernandez collected a roll-out from goalkeeper Mike Maignan on the edge of the Milan box.
After shrugging off an early challenge the Frenchman ran unhindered deep into the Lazio half before thumping a dipping 30-metre shot past Ivan Provedel.
Lazio did not manage a shot on target, although Toma Basic scuffed a close-range chance in the dying seconds.
The two Milan clubs meet in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final on Wednesday and both seemed to have an eye on that match.
Milan withdrew Rafael Leao after 10 minutes. The winger indicated to the bench that he had a thigh problem and, after a discussion, was replaced.
‘Stopped in time’
“He stopped in time,” said Pioli. “We’ll see tomorrow. At the end of the game he was serene, he felt good, I don’t think it’s something particularly serious.”
“We are able to play a great game even without him.”
Inter left several regular attacking starters on the bench against injury- hit Roma.
Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan remained spectators throughout while Lautauro Martinez appeared for the last 30 minutes.
Left back Federico Dimarco gave Inter the lead after 33 minutes and Romelu Lukaku added the second in the 74th minute.
Lorenzo Pellegrini and Mady Camara wasted the best Roma chances.
Roma also have an eye on Europe. They stayed seventh, five points behind Inter in the last Champions League place, but have another route into that competition if they win the Europa League. Roma host Leverkusen in the first leg of a semi-final on Thursday.
Their neighbours, Lazio stayed second behind newly-crowned champions Napoli but could drop to third if Juventus win away to Atalanta on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, Genoa ensured an immediate return to the top flight when they beat visiting Ascoli 2-1 in Serie B.
With two rounds of games left, Genoa moved eight points clear of third-place Bari who drew 1-1 at Modena.
Leaders Frosinone, who had secured promotion the previous week, won 3-1 at Pisa.
The third promotion place will be determined in a playoff involving six teams.
Genoa, coached since December by 40-year-old ex-international Alberto Gilardino, could replace neighbours Sampdoria who are bottom of Serie A and 10 points from safety.
Genoa won the first two Italian league titles in 1898 and 1899 and the last of their nine crowns almost a century ago in 1924.
World Cup News
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday blasted as “insufficient” the apology given by...
Spain’s Women’s World Cup hero Olga Carmona paid tribute to her father on Monday...
Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso defended Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales after he came...
Sunday’s World Cup final between England and Spain is the final act of a...