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Zlatan's Clutch Assist Keeps AC Milan's Title Dream Alive

Trailing Lazio 1-0 at halftime at Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday night, AC Milan was witnessing the crushing end of its Serie A title chase. 

If the result held, Inter would stay top of the table with a game still in hand, and you wouldn't be on the Nerazzurri messing up twice in their final five matches with the most difficult test being a trip to 12th-place Udinese.

It was Ciro Immobile who opened the scoring for Lazio in the fourth-minute after some great wide play from Sergej Milinković-Savić — a massive goal for the Eagles in their attempt to keep pace with fourth-place Juventus in the race for Champions League football. 

But Olivier Giroud has scored clutch goals for Milan throughout the season — against Roma, Inter and Napoli — and the 35-year-old Frenchman provided the equalizer off Rafael Leão's feed in the 50th minute. 

Still, a draw wasn't much better than a defeat for Milan. The Rossoneri needed all three points to keep the pressure ramped up on Inter, and Stefano Pioli brought on Zlatan Ibrahimović and Ante Rebić in the 68th minute to find a winner.

A last-ditch Lazio block on an 89th-minute Zlatan effort looked like the final opportunity of the match, but then, two minutes into the allotted five of stoppage time, the 40-year-old punished a weak clearance with a cushioned header to Sandro Tonali.

The 21-year-old controlled with his thigh and prodded an effort through Thomas Strakosha.

Milan goes top of the table on 74 points from 34 matches, but Inter, two points back, maintains a game in hand that'll be played Wednesday at 13th-place Bologna. Inter then finishes with Udinese, Empoli, Cagliari and Sampdoria.

Milan plays Fiorentina, Verona, Atalanta and Sassuolo. 

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