Soccer

Ronaldo lifts AC Milan to victory

Ronaldo scored twice and set up another goal to help AC Milan beat Siena 4-3 in the Serie A on Saturday.

Ronaldo scored twice and set up another goal to help AC Milan beat Siena 4-3 in the Serie A on Saturday.

The Brazil forward opened with a header in the 15th minute and tapped in his second goal nine minutes from the end. Ronaldo also passed the ball through Siena's defence for strike partner Ricardo Oliveira to score in the 28th.

"Two goals. An assist. Ninety minutes excellent work," Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

Massimo Ambrosini scored Milan's fourth goal in the 90th to win the match, a minute after Massimo Maccarone had struck an equalizer for Siena.

Simone Vergassola and Maccarone also levelled the scores in the 19th and 30th respectively.

Rival Inter Milan beat Cagliari 1-0 — the Nerazzurri's 16th-straight Serie A victory — to extend its lead atop the division to 14 points, after 10-man Empoli hung on to beat second-place AS Roma 1-0.

"It was an important victory today but it's wrong to say the championship race is over," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. "We have a good lead and everything is much more difficult for [Roma], but we have to stay focused, take advantage of this good period and try to push hard on the accelerator as long as we can."

Inter has 63 points, followed by Roma with 49 and Palermo with 42. Empoli is fourth with 35 points — two more than Milan, which started the season with an eight-point penalty from the Italian match fixing scandal.

Ronaldo impressed on his first start for the Rossoneri, after making a lively 30-minute debut in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Livorno.

The 30-year-old striker looked sharp and linked up well with Brazil teammate Kaka.

Kaka provided the assist for Ronaldo's second goal, which brought to 51 the forward's tally in the Serie A after a five-year absence.

Ronaldo played for Inter between 1997-2002 before transferring to Real Madrid. He joined Milan three weeks ago.

He was unlucky not to score a third goal when he hit the crossbar with a header from close range in the 68th.

"It's too bad about my mistake," Ronaldo said. "I'm not yet in perfect physical condition … but slowly but surely I will reach my top condition."

Milan midfielder Cristian Brocchi was sent off in the 77th for a two-footed tackle on opposite number Francesco Cozza.

A minute's silence was observed before the game and Siena players wore black armbands for former Siena president Danilo Nannini, who died Thursday.

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