Maldini winner eases pressure on AC Milan coach Ancelotti
November 25, 2006 7:26pm CST
ROME, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Captain Paolo Maldini relieved the pressure on AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti when he headed the winner in a 1-0 home victory over Messina on Saturday. Milan's second win in 10 games gave them 11 points from 13 matches, 19 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan, who travel to second-placed Palermo on Sunday. Italian media suggested Ancelotti's position was under threat after Milan's recent run of results but Maldini came to the rescue in the 13th minute, nodding in an Andrea Pirlo free kick. The rest of the match followed a familiar pattern for the Serie A giants, lots of possession and plenty of chances but no goals. Kaka was a constant menace for 14th-placed Milan, skewing the ball narrowly wide in the first half and hitting the post in the second. Messina almost punished Milan for their inability to finish when a Christian Rigano header sailed wide. Earlier, Chievo Verona notched their first league win of the season with Victor Obinna scoring twice in a 2-0 home victory over Udinese. The 19-year-old Nigerian striker opened the scoring in the 31st minute after visiting keeper Morgan De Sanctis spilled the ball into his path. Obinna grabbed his second from the penalty spot midway through the second half after Brazilian defender Felipe handled.