MILAN, Italy -- AC Milan put itself in pole position to win the Serie A after beating Inter Milan 3-0 and extending its lead over Inter in the standings to five points on Saturday. "We may be five points ahead, but we have seven games to play and there are 21 points on offer and we cant make any mistakes," Milan coach Massimo Allegri said. "When we are mathematically unreachable we will celebrate, but thinking about those things now is pointless and just wastes energy." Milan was the better side throughout and managed to completely nullify the influence of Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Etoo. Alexandre Pato scored twice, while defender Cristian Chivu was sent off for pulling the Brazilian down as he raced through on goal early in the second half. Patos first came in the opening minute, and the second was soon after Inter went down to 10 men. Antonio Cassano made it three with a penalty one minute from time. Cassano then became the second player to be sent off. He was booked after taking his shirt off in celebration, then fouled Ivan Cordoba to earn a second yellow card and an automatic one-match suspension. "We stayed calm and played good football," Allegri said. "We didnt let Inter have many chances to score and we had a lot of chances ourselves. "I am sorry about Cassanos sending off, but that aside it was a good evening. Of course Cassano could have avoided making the foul." Both teams have seven games remaining and Inter could be overtaken by Napoli if it beats Lazio on Sunday. "I dont believe it is over, but five points is five points and that is a lot," Inter coach Leonardo said. "The early goal really affected the match and gave Milan a confidence boost. If we had equalized before halftime it would really have changed the game. "We are a mature team though and wont get too worked up by this result." Milan scored with the first attack of the game. Gennaro Gattuso linked up with Pato to set up Robinho with a chance. Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar deflected the ball into the Patos path and he slotted it into the empty net. Pato then nearly turned provider when he crossed to the far post, but Robinho was just short when he slid in. Referee Nicola Rizzoli then waved away Milans appeals for a penalty after Clarence Seedorf volleyed Ignazio Abates cross at Maicon. The best Inter managed in the opening exchanges was a free kick by Sneijder which he blasted high and wide, and seconds later Milan re-exerted its dominance of the opening period when Seedorf volleyed over the bar when Inter failed to clear a corner. Eventually Giampaolo Pazzini squeezed between Gianluca Zambrotta and Alessandro Nesta to fire in a shot, but Milan keeper Christian Abbiati had the relatively simple task of stopping it with his knees. Pato and Zambrotta went close with long-range shots as Milan maintained the pressure on Inters goal, and Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia had to react quickly to stop Pato, who had been played in behind Inters defence. Milan continued to press for a second and Robinho was given a yellow card after he tumbled theatrically in the box in a vain attempt to win a penalty. In the 38th Mark Van Bommel let fly with a long-range shot that came back off the bar and into the grasp of a grateful Cesar. Inter was convinced that it had equalized when Thiago Mottas header was stopped by an athletic save by Abbiati, but Rizzoli said it hadnt crossed the line. Nine minutes into the second half Inter was reduced to 10 men when Chivu was sent off for tripping Pato. Kevin Prince Boateng played the Brazilian into space behind the Inter defence and as he bore down on goal Chivu brought him down just outside the area. From the free kick Van Bommels shot was punched away by Cesar. "I wanted to keep going but he kicked me on the back of the foot and I went down," Pato said. "The referee sent him off and we had the penalty. I am happy as the referee did the right thing because it was a definite goalscoring opportunity." Milan doubled its lead in the 62nd when Seedorf picked out Abate unmarked on the right of the area and he crossed to the far post where Pato prodded the ball home. Inter immediately brought on last seasons leading scorer Diego Milito for the increasingly isolated Pazzini, but it had little effect. Mathieu Flamini set up Robinho for a shot that Cesar parried and Ranocchia then flung himself in the way of Boatengs effort. Robinho had another chance, but after going round Cesar, Cordoba got back to block his shot. Cesar then made another save when he denied Boateng. One minute from time Inter captain Javier Zanetti completed a miserable night for his team when he bundled over Cassano. The substitute picked himself up and secured the result for Milan to beat Inter twice in the league for the first time since 2003-04. Gavin Escobar Jersey
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. -- For better or worse, playing for the Montreal Canadiens has been all that Erik Cole expected when he signed as an unrestricted free agent last summer.WINNIPEG -- Nicole Sassine of the Windsor Lancers was named the Canadian university womens track athlete of the year Thursday, while Laurence Beaudet of the Montreal Carabins won the field award. Windsors Matt Walters won the mens track MVP, while Guelphs Tim Hendry collected the top field award, announced prior to the start of the CIS indoor track and field championships Thursday. The top rookie awards went to Victorias Rachel Francois and Alexandre Gagne of Sherbrooke, while Saskatchewans Jodi Souter and Calgarys Evan Kimick won the Student-Athlete Community Service Awards. Sassine, a fifth-year kinesiology student from Windsor, Ont., helped the Lancer women capture the CIS title each of the past three seasons. She won gold in the 300 metres and 4x200 relay, and added silver medals in the 60-metre hurdles and 4x400 at the Ontario conference championship, and was named the womens MVP of the meet. "Not only did she score a team-leading 22.5 points to help our womens team win the OUA banner, but she is a superb team captain and provides great leadership throughout the season," said Windsor coach Dennis Fairall. Ashley Ryer of Dalhousie, Kimberly Hyacinthe of UQAM and Sharai Siemens of Saskatchewan were finalists for the award. Beaudet, a finance student from Terrebonne, Que., set a Quebec university record in the long jump with a leap of 6.14 metres in her second CIS season. Shell compete in long jump and 60 hurdles at the CIS championships. "Laurence is a very driven athlete who is totally dedicated to academics and athletics," said coach Sylvain Lavallee. "I think shes poised to have a very successful meet." Regional finalists were Rebecca Haworth of Dalhousie, Rachel Jewett of Toronto, and Rachel McIntosh of Calgary. Walters was named a conference all-star in cross country, and continued his strong performances throughout the track season. The third-year liberal arts major earned the mens track MVP award at the OUA meet after winning a gold and pair of silvers to help lead the Lancers to a 14th straight conference banner.dddddddddddd. "Matts (time of) 3:44.92 in the 1,500 earlier this season on Windsors track was an incredible performance," said Fairall. "He leads the nation in that event and has a great chance at gold this weekend." Justin Blades of Dalhousie, Jean-Samuel Lapointe of Laval and Adam Gaudes of Victoria were finalists. Hendry, a fourth-year senior from Parry Sound, Ont., has been the top ranked shot putter in CIS all season and his best throw of 18.26 metres leads his closest rival by nearly a metre. His gold medal performance at the conference championships broke the meet record by 75 centimetres. "Tim is a world-class athlete and we are blessed to have him," said Guelph head coach Dave Scott-Thomas. "He came in as a solid recruit and has progressed by leaps and bounds every year. He is not only one of the best athletes in CIS, but in our overall national system as well." Gagne, Rob McCulloch of Dalhousie, and Stephen McPhee of Alberta were field event finalists. Francois, a humanities student from Edmonton, has dominated on 600 metres in her university debut going undefeated all season en route to winning the Canada West championship. Gagne, a chemical engineering student from Sherbrooke, was dominant in his Vert et Or debut, winning double gold in the weight throw and shot put at the Quebec conference championships. Souter, a fifth-year distance runner from Pleasantdale, Sask., is a four-time CIS academic all-Canadian and also volunteers on campus and for the Canadian Cancer Society. Kimick, a chemical engineering student with a minor in petroleum engineering, helped Calgarys 4x800 and 4x400 relays to silver and bronze at the conference finals. Hes also an active volunteer in Calgary and is on pace to be an academic all-Canadian for a second straight year. The three-day Canadian championship meet runs Thursday to Saturday at the University of Manitobas Max Bell Fieldhouse. ' ' '