Ten-man Milan needed a 90th-minute equalizer from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to salvage a 1-1 draw at home with Bologna.
Genoa is in danger of being relegated and the gesture was an apparent way for the players to acknowledge they were not worthy of wearing the club’s shirt.
The unusual scenes came as protests broke out among Genoa supporters early in the second half as their team trailed 4-0.
Also, Genoa forward Bosko Jankovic was forced to leave his seat on the bench after an argument with fans.
Genoa captain Marco Rossi spoke with the fans at one point and then removed his shirt before gathering some of his teammates’ shirts in an attempt to appease the supporters.
That seemed to work as the fans eventually calmed down — while Siena and the referee went into the changing room — and the match resumed in the 54th minute without incident.
— The Associated Press
Meanwhile, the Italian game was once again marred by crowd trouble at Genoa, where supporters caused a 45-minute suspension in their club’s 4-1 loss to Siena during which the players stripped off their shirts in a sign of apology.
Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was then sent off for a last-man foul on Claudio Marchisio in the 26th. Andrea Pirlo converted his own rebound from the ensuing penalty to make it 3-0, and Marchisio added the fourth in the 52nd minute.
“Our approach was fundamental. We approached this match like a great squad,” Juve manager Antonio Conte said. “This is another step forward, but we know that there are five matches remaining and they’re five finals. … But we control our own destiny now.”
Juventus also clinched at least a top-two finish, meaning it has qualified directly for the Champions League — after finishing seventh the past two seasons.
“The club asked me to reach this goal and now it’s been realized, but we’re not aiming for minimum goals at this point,” Conte said.
At the San Siro, Uruguayan forward Gaston Ramirez gave Bologna the lead in the 26th, finishing off a swift counterattack after Milan midfielder Mark van Bommel lost possession.
Milan defender Daniele Bonera picked up his second yellow card in the 82nd and it looked like the Rossoneri were about to slip to their second loss in three matches until Ibrahimovic scored with a close-range volley.
Elsewhere, third-place Lazio allowed a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Lecce.
After both sides had hit the crossbar, Brazilian midfielder Francelino Matuzalem scored with a header for Lazio in the 82nd, but Valeri Bojinov drew Lecce level in added time from the centre of the area for his first goal since rejoining the southern club on loan from Sporting Lisbon in January.
Lazio held on to the final Champions League spot, but is only three points ahead of Udinese, with Napoli four points back.
Meanwhile, the match in Genoa was interrupted early in the second half when fans threw flares onto the pitch and climbed atop barriers as they were faced by stewards in riot gear.
After the fans calmed down, the match resumed and Cristiano Del Grosso scored an own goal for Genoa in the 79th.
The loss left Genoa one point above the relegation zone.
An Italy-Serbia match in the same stadium last season was stopped in similar circumstances — albeit with Serbian fans causing the violence. There were also massive clashes following the shooting ofa Lazio fan by a police officer at a highway rest stop in 2007. And the hard-core “ultra” fans forced the 2004 Rome derby to be suspended after a false rumour spread that a boy had been shot by police outside the stadium.
Earlier, Julio Cesar saved a penalty but Inter Milan came away with only a 0-0 draw at struggling Fiorentina, damaging its dwindling chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
In the 69th minute, Julio Cesar dove to his right to push away a low spot kick from Adem Ljajic after the goalkeeper had tripped Andrea Lazzari.
Also, Palermo drew 2-2 at Cesena.
A minute of silence was held before each match a week after Piermario Morosini’s death from cardiac arrest in a Serie B game.
Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez, left, vies for the ball against Wolverhampton Wanderers’ David Davis on Sunday. (Tim Hales/Associated Press)
Man City win opens up title race: EPL
The Premier League title race took an unexpected twist on Sunday when Manchester City beat Wolverhampton 2-0 to move within three points of leader Manchester United, which blew a two-goal lead to draw 4-4 with Everton.
With the two rivals meeting at Etihad Stadium next and City having a much better goal difference than United, the destiny of the title is back in both teams’ hands in what is proving a thrilling climax to the season.
“It’s a derby of amazing proportions — probably the most important derby game in my time,” said United manager Alex Ferguson, who took over in 1986.
United appeared to be coasting to an eighth straight home win when Wayne Rooney scored his second goal to put the champions 4-2 ahead at Old Trafford.
However, poor defending from the defending champions allowed Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar to score goals in the final seven minutes and earn Everton a point.
City took full advantage hours later at Molineux, with goals by Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri ensuring Wolves became the first team to be relegated from the top flight.
“The United game’s in our sights,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart said. “We feel ready and are firing in the goals.”
In the day’s other match, Liverpool’s poor league form continued with a 1-0 home loss to West Bromwich Albion, with Peter Odemwingie grabbing the winner against the run of play in the 75th minute.
Liverpool, which had 28 shots at Anfield, is languishing in eighth place — two points behind Merseyside rival Everton with four matches left.
United still holds the initiative although City’s superb form at home — where it has won 16 of its 17 matches — gives Roberto Mancini’s team a great chance of leap-frogging its greatest rival. City currently has a goal difference advantage of six.
“I think they have a bigger chance than us,” Mancini said. “But we have another chance.”
Rooney closed to within one goal of Arsenal striker Robin van Persie in the scoring charts after taking his tally for the campaign to 26 and also became the club’s fourth top scorer of all time, taking his overall tally to 180 to overtake George Best and Dennis Viollet. But that will be of little consolation to the England striker after the dramatic comeback of his former club.
Rooney cancelled out Jelavic’s 33rd-minute opener just before halftime before Danny Welbeck and Nani, who was recalled in place of Ashley Young, scored goals in a four-minute span to put United 3-1 up.
Marouane Fellaini made it 3-2 with a 67th-minute volley, but United seemed to be cruising again when Rooney linked well with Welbeck in the 69th to restore the two-goal cushion.
There was still time for Jelavic to thrash in a low finish after a hopeful ball forward failed to get headed clear and Pienaar levelled with an 85th-minute finish from Fellaini’s cross.
“It’s a throwaway, an absolute giveaway,” Ferguson said. “We just needed to see the game out and it’s a travesty because some of our football was fantastic.
“We’ve given them [City] the initiative, no question about that.”
Like Rooney, Aguero has come into some timely scoring form at the business end of the season and his fine strike against Wolves, coming after he was found by a superb pass from Gael Clichy, in the 27th was his 22nd of the campaign.
City came under increasing pressure in the second half as the hosts looked for goals to preserve their topflight status at least for another week, but Nasri settled any nerves with a low finish following good work by Carlos Tevez.
“It’s a very difficult day, a raw day for me, the staff, the players, everyone connected with the club,” interim Wolves manager Terry Connor said. “Over 38 games we’ve proved not good enough to stay in the Premier League.”
Wolves’ three-year stay in the Premier League was always likely to end after winning just one game since the start of December. The team still has three games left but is 11 points adrift of fourth-bottom Wigan.
Liverpool has won the League Cup and reached the final of the FA Cup last weekend, yet its league form — especially at Anfield — has been bitterly disappointing.
Again the Reds couldn’t convert their dominance into goals, hitting the post twice, and were caught with Odemwingie’s sucker-punch after Glen Johnson was robbed of possession by Youssouf Mulumbu.
“It’s not the first time we’ve stood here and said exactly the same things,” Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said. “It has been the same theme — hitting the crossbar, people clearing it off the line, us missing chances or hitting our own players.”