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AC Milan steal final Champions League spot with late goal

May 19, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT

AC Siena v AC Milan - Serie A Getty Images

Heartbreak in Serie A this year belongs to Fiorentina.  Halftime on the final day saw the Viola up 3-0, and AC Milan trailing Siena 1-0 – scores which at full time would mean the Rossoneri would miss out on the Champions League next season.

Unfortunately for Fiorentina, Mario Balotelli converted a penalty in the 84th minute to draw level and two minutes later Philippe Mexes slotted home a cross to secure Europe’s top competition for Milan.

Both teams had been reduced to 10 men by the 70th minute, with Massimo Ambrosini and Christian Terlizzi both receiving second yellows within two minutes of each other.

Fiorentina would end up winning 5-1, but Milan had the 2-point advantage going into the final day so additional help was required. Fiorentina did own a goal differential advantage, especially with their 4-goal victory, so a draw would not have been enough for Milan.

Milan will be relieved with the result, as they risked missing out on the Champions League for the first time since the 2008-09 season, and just the third time since the turn of the millennium.

AC Milan have only lost once, to champions Juventus, during the entire 2013 calender year.

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