With seven games left in Serie A and 21 points to play for, it truly is game on for Milan in their quest to qualify for European competition. While a 4-0 win over Serie A strugglers Palermo was the best way for Milan to climb up Serie A, nearly everything has fallen into their hands this week.
Milan’s closest rivals in the table are clearly Inter. The inter-city rivals are not only battling out to call themselves the kings of the city, but are duking it out for the final European qualification spot in the table. Inter sit seventh on 55 points, while Milan are sixth on 57. Milan managed to leapfrog Inter, thanks to Inter’s capitulation against Crotone on Sunday.
But it wasn’t only the Crotone victory that has given Milan a chance - Lazio had a big chance to gain ground on Napoli and get away from the pack. A win against Napoli would see them hang on to fourth place in the table with 63 points, but the Naples side made a big statement with a win against Lazio. What does this mean? It means that Lazio lie on 60 points, just three points away from Milan. It’s a chance for Milan to try to better Lazio and gain ground on them. Positive results for Milan against negative results for Lazio will see Milan charge up the table.
In-between Milan and Lazio lie Atalanta who stumbled to a 1-1 draw against Sassuolo on Saturday. This is a good result for Milan as Atalanta now carry 59 points into their next game - against Roma.
Milan’s next game against Inter Milan is crucial. A win in the derby will see Milan create breathing room and develop a five point lead over Inter. It will also see them jump up the table if Atalanta lose and it will give Milan a fighting chance of finishing fourth if Lazio stumble against Genoa.
As for the prospect of European qualification, it is on the cards. It is highly likely that Milan will gain entry to next season’s Europa League if they can finish strong. Vincenzo Montella’s team have now played themselves into a position where it is pretty much in the hands of the Rossoneri.