Clarence Seedorf scored in the 90th minute to give AC Milan a 1-0 victory over Chievo Verona on Sunday in a match that was overshadowed by David Beckham’s Achilles’ tendon injury.
The victory closed the gap on Serie A leader Inter Milan to one point.
"It was a special night, but the injury to David hurts us," Milan coach Leonardo said. "The victory is emotional, but his pain makes us enjoy it less."
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Having come on only a few minutes earlier, Seedorf found the target with a long angled shot at the San Siro.
Milan was down to 10 men when Seedorf scored because Beckham hobbled off with a torn left Achilles a few minutes earlier. Leonardo had already made his permitted three substitutions.
Returning to the starting lineup after Milan’s 4-0 Champions League loss to Manchester United, Beckham was also treated for a deep cut to his right cheek following a collision early in the first half.
Beckham nearly scored in the 84th, but Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino stopped the close-range effort.
The former England captain, who is on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, will fly to Finland on Monday for surgery and will likely miss the rest of the season. Milan defender Alessandro Nesta is also slated for surgery Monday on his right knee.
Until Seedorf’s winner, the closest either team came to scoring were two shots that struck the woodwork.
Chievo left back Andrea Mantovani hit the crossbar with a header in the 42nd minute and Ronaldinho hit the post in the 57th. In the 44th, Chievo defender Mario Yepes had a goal ruled out for a questionable offside call.
Inter was beat 3-1 by Catania on Friday and has 59 points, while Milan now has 58 with 10 rounds remaining.
AS Roma is third with 53 points, Palermo is next with 46 and Juventus is fifth with 45.
Earlier, Juventus squandered a three-goal lead and drew 3-3 with Siena at home, missing out on a chance to move back into the Champions League places.
Alessandro Del Piero scored the 300th and 301st goals of his career and Antonio Candreva also found the target for Juventus in the first 10 minutes before Massimo Maccarone hit back for Siena and Abdel Ghezzal scored twice to equalize.
"I don’t remember ever seeing a game like that," Juventus coach Alberto Zaccheroni said. "Our approach to the game was perfect. There was the risk of underestimating the last-place team but we scored three goals in 10 minutes.
"Then we committed a mistake and mistakes hurt. We’re a great team when our head is in the game. But once the focus is off anything can happen."
AS Roma was also held to a 3-3 draw at Livorno, with Livorno captain Cristiano Lucarelli scoring a hat trick and Roma midfielder David Pizarro missing a penalty.
Palermo lost 3-2 at Udinese, which got two goals from Antonio Floro Flores.
Also Sunday, it was: Bologna 1, Sampdoria 1; Genoa 5, Cagliari 3; Lazio 0, Bari 2; and Parma 1, Atalanta 0.
Juventus beat Fiorentina last weekend and downed Fulham 3-1 in the first leg of the Europa League’s last 16 on Thursday. The Turin power looked like it was on course for another victory when Del Piero struck twice in the opening seven minutes.
The Juventus captain scored his first goal into an empty net after Candreva carried the ball into the area two minutes in and a shot from Mohamed Sissoko was blocked. Del Piero then connected on a volley from the center of the area five minutes later.
Candreva, a recent Italy call-up, found the target in the 10th with a shot from 30 meters (yards).
Maccarone pulled one back for Siena in the 16th with a shot from the edge of the area and the Frenchman Ghezzal knocked in a rebound of a Maccarone shot that hit the post in the 46th.
Ghezzal then converted a penalty for the equalizer in the 74th after Maccarone was tripped by Zdenek Grygera.
Juventus used its third-choice goalkeeper, Antonio Chimenti, with Gianluigi Buffon and Alex Manninger unavailable.
In Livorno, Lucarelli was the first to score, knocking in the 200th goal of his career nine minutes in after beating the offside trap.
Simone Perrotta equalized for Roma less than a minute later following a heel pass from Rodrigo Taddei, and Luca Toni put Roma up 2-1 in the 19th with a header following a free kick.
Lucarelli again beat the offside trap in the 26th and dribbled around Roma goalkeeper Julio Sergio to make it 2-2. Just two minutes later, Pizarro restored Roma’s lead with a shot from the center of the area.
French forward Jeremy Menez earned Roma a penalty in the 39th but Pizarro’s shot hit the post. Still, Roma had the lead until Brazil defender Juan stuck his hand up to block a cross from Lucarelli in the 70th, resulting in a penalty that Lucarelli converted for the final equalizer.
"His arms were open. That’s a penalty that can be called or not called," Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said. "We’re still lacking something if we want to compete with Inter and Milan – a bit of luck."