After the defeat against Fiorentina on Saturday night and the wins for Inter, Lazio and Roma, AC Milan have found themselves out of the top four once again.
Corriere dello Sport (via MilanNews) writes that after the defeat in Florence – which came after four consecutive victories without conceding – is enough to plunge Milan back into the centre of doubts and uncertainties in a season that was expected to be very different.
Against La Viola the Rossoneri have been accused of lacking focus, concentration and general work rate as they were dominated by Vincenzo Italiano’s side for most of the game despite the fact they had only won twice in 2023 prior to the game.
Now a crossroads of sorts has emerged ahead of Wednesday night’s second leg against Spurs. The team are aiming to go as far as they can in the Champions League but in the process – especially if they were to reach the quarter-finals and get a favourable draw – they would create a distraction from the top four mission in the league.
Milan find themselves with eight points less than at the same stage last season and in fifth place, while after 25 rounds of last season the team sat top and were watching everyone from above. Throughout the Scudetto-winning campaign there was unity and sacrifice on display, also in the first part of 2022-23, but that has gone missing far too often in the new calendar year.
It is no coincidence that Milan have only managed a streak of four victories in the league this year as their longest, whereas in 2021-22 they ended the season with six in a row. It seemed that Milan had come out of the quicksand of January, yet now the doubts are back.
All is not lost as there are 13 games to go and Milan are just three points away from second-placed Inter. What is certain is that there are many team competing and the longer they stay together, the more serious the direct meetings against Lazio, Roma, Napoli and Juventus will be towards the end of the season.
Those head-to-head matches are crucial. Must-win battles. Starting with Napoli in a few weeks.