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Balotelli leads AC Milan to 5th straight win

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm •  Published: April 19, 2014

ROME (AP) — Mario Balotelli set a personal record with his 14th goal of the Serie A season and set up another score as AC Milan beat visiting Livorno 3-0 Saturday for its fifth straight win.

Still, Milan remained five points behind city rival Inter Milan in the race for fifth place and the final Europa League berth, after Inter beat 10-man Parma 2-0.

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba led the way as Juventus stayed on course for a third consecutive title with a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Bologna.

Pogba, the France international and former Manchester United midfielder, scored with a long, low shot from beyond the area in the 64th minute.

Juve remained eight points ahead of second-place Roma, which won 1-0 at fourth-place Fiorentina with a 26th-minute goal from Radja Nainggolan. Former Fiorentina forward Adem Ljajic set up the goal by evading a bunch of defenders and slipping the ball through to Nainggolan.

With 90 points and four matches remaining, Juventus has a chance to become the first Serie A club to break the 100-point barrier. Inter set the record of 97 in 2007.

Serie A began awarding three points for wins in the 1994-95 season and the current 20-club format was instituted in 2003-04.

Roma secured second place and a direct Champions League berth.

At the San Siro, Balotelli scored with a textbook header from the center of the area in the 43rd following a cross from Kevin Constant.

Midfielder Adel Taarabt doubled Milan's lead in the 51st after dribbling past a defender, and substitute Giampaolo Pazzini finished off in the 84th after taking a pass from Balotelli that left him with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Balotelli's previous best output was 13 goals, with Manchester City in 2011-12, and City and Milan combined last season.

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