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Football: Balotelli helps Milan grab 2-1 win over Parma

Published on Feb 16, 2013 7:38 AM
AC Milan's Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring against Parma during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan on Feb 15, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN (REUTERS) - A stunning Mario Balotelli free-kick gave AC Milan a 2-1 win over mid-table Parma in Serie A on Friday that put them level with third-placed Lazio and a point ahead of rivals Inter Milan in the race for European places.

Balotelli's strike 13 minutes from time capped a bustling display by the controversial forward and sealed the points for Massimiliano Allegri's side after an own goal from home defender Gabriel Paletta in the 39th set them on their way to victory.

Nicola Sansone got a consolation for Parma in added time but it was too late to stop in-form Milan moving up to fourth place, a point above city rivals Inter, who they face next weekend, and level with Lazio in the Champions League playoff spot.

Milan, who have 44 points from 25 games, have now gone six games unbeaten which should give them confidence ahead of their Champions League last 16, first-leg match at home to Barcelona on Wednesday. Champions Juventus are top with 55 points.

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