MILAN, April 27 (Reuters) - Inter Milan will retain their title if they defeat AC Milan in next weekend's derby after the Serie A leaders beat Cagliari 2-1 on Sunday.
Julio Cruz claimed the first goal although the ball seemed to come off Cagliari defender Paolo Bianco's shoulder last, but there was no doubt about Marco Materazzi's towering header in the second half.
Cagliari, who have hauled themselves away from the relegation zone in recent weeks, had several chances and deserved Davide Biondini's deflected goal in injury time.
'It changes nothing, it is just important to win. It doesn't matter much,' coach Roberto Mancini told Sky when asked about the prospect of winning the scudetto against Milan.
'We created lots of chances but it was a dangerous game.'
Second-placed AS Roma, six points behind Inter with three games left but with a worse head-to-head record, made sure the title race would continue for another weekend by thrashing struggling Torino 4-1 at home.
David Pizarro's penalty, Mirko Vucinic's finish from a tight angle and a double from Mancini gave Roma a healthy first half lead before Nicola Ventola pulled one back for Torino, now just a point above the drop zone.
Fifth-placed Milan still have a lot to play for against Inter next Sunday after Filippo Inzaghi scored a hat-trick and Clarence Seedorf added the gloss in a 4-1 win at bottom side Livorno, who are beginning to look doomed.
Daniele Gastaldello's header deep into stoppage time gave Sampdoria a 2-2 draw at fourth-placed Fiorentina and means Milan are just two points behind the Florence club in the race for the final Champions League qualifying spot.
Fiorentina thought they had taken the three points when Adrian Mutu slotted in a penalty five minutes from time after the Romanian went down in the area, with replays inconclusive over whether he was clipped.
Christian Vieri had earlier brought the hosts level after Christian Maggio had coolly opened the scoring for Samp, who stay four points behind Fiorentina.
Juventus, in third, secured their berth in the Champions League qualifiers with a 5-2 win over Lazio. Defender Giorgio Chiellini scored twice while David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero both netted in their personal battle to be Serie A top scorer with 19 and 18 goals respectively.
Francesco Cozza also bagged a brace as Reggina came from behind to beat 10-man Parma 2-1 in the big game at the bottom. Defender Massimo Paci was sent off in the 55th minute.
Reggina remain in the bottom three, two points above Parma and three clear of Livorno, after Ignazio Abate's neat finish in a 1-0 win at Genoa kept Empoli just outside the drop zone.