AC Milan were on Tuesday involved in one of the most frantic games of the season. While most football fans had their eyes on Manchester United’s Carabao Cup game against Everton, the Rossoneri were taking care of business against Lazio in Serie A.
Stefano Pioli’s men have been in imperious form this season and continue to prove that they are the real deal in Serie A. To narrow their improved form to the current season alone will be a great disservice to the job that Pioli has done since the turn of the year.
The Italian manager has completely overturned the fortunes of the club and has now made them title contenders. AC Milan were unstoppable after the coronavirus-enforced break last season and have carried their imperious form into the current campaign.
The club has lost just three games in all competitions in 2020, having scored 106 goals. Clearly, very few teams can claim to be better than them this year.
Ending the year as Serie A leaders
Very few foresaw AC Milan challenging for the Serie A title, let alone sitting at the top of the league table. However, the Rossoneri have done exactly that.
On Wednesday, they put up a resilient performance to beat Lazio 3-2 at the San Siro. Despite taking an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu, AC Milan’s lack of concentration saw Lazio claw their way back.
Clever strikes from Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile looked to have secured a draw for Lazio, but Theo Hernandez popped up with a last-minute winner to claim all three points for AC Milan.
Pioli said after the game, as quoted by Football Italia:
“Unfortunately, the fans are not there, but we can feel their presence. We feel the affection in the city, the passion. The pride comes from the work around the Milan world. We receive more acclaim, but there’s a club behind it, a staff that puts us in a position to work at our best. I’m proud to be part of this club.”
The win against Lazio sees AC Milan end the year at the top of the Serie A table. They are currently a point above local rivals Inter Milan and 10 points ahead of defending champions Juventus.
The last push
Until now, Pioli has done well not to raise expectations but the fact that AC Milan are still unbeaten in the league cannot be ignored.
They’ve clearly been the best team in the Italian top flight, but the second round of fixtures will be tougher.
In his post-match press conference after the Lazio match, Pioli did well to remind his players that the job was not yet done. He further called on them to give it a final push in order to achieve their title ambitions.
The 55-year-old is quoted as saying by Football Italia:
“This match is very valuable, I’m telling the team that we have done a lot, now we must make the last push to finish the first part of the season well. We are fine, apart from the absentees, but the group are there.”
As to whether AC Milan can maintain their unbeaten run is a discussion for another day but their current form proves they are the real deal in Serie A.Published 24 Dec 2020, 14:51 IST