Milan hosts Serie A summit amid takeover talks

18 Apr 2022 | 08:45 | Football

AC Milan’s Brazilian midfielder Junior Messias (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal. Photo: AFP


AC Milan’s Brazilian midfielder Junior Messias (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal. Photo: AFP

AC Milan will top Serie A this weekend thanks to Friday’s 2-0 win over struggling Genoa after Inter scored their first with a 3-1 win at Spezia.

Milan, who was tipped to be sold to Bahrain-based investment firm Investcorp, regained the championship after briefly falling to second place before starting in front of more than 70,000 fans at San Siro.

But Leao’s 11th-minute volley from Pierre Kalulu’s cross and Junior Messias’ strike with three minutes left were enough for Stefano Pioli’s side to maintain two points ahead of local rivals Inter.

Attention will now turn to third-placed Napoli, who face Roma on Monday night in hopes of moving above 69 points with Inter, while Juventus are nine points behind their home game against Bologna on Saturday.

“The more games we play, the more important each game becomes,” Messias said.

“We know it’s not going to be easy today but we played well and we got the three points which makes us want to keep fighting.”

Portugal striker Leao’s brilliant finish was the highlight of an unattractive performance, showing why Milan have struggled to weed out Serie A’s lesser luminaries since. the begin of the year.

– ‘Positive energy’ –
Milan have kept a seventh consecutive clean sheet in all competitions – after losing right-back Davide Calabria to stomach upset shortly before kick-off – but it was a night of little chance for the seven-time European champions. .

Olivier Giroud in the 57th minute was the first delicious opportunity after Leao’s opening goal.

Leao then came close to doubling the lead for the home team when he forced a good save by Salvatore Sirigu, but Messias put the home crowd in a good mood when he broke in the second after rejected by the Italian player in Genoa’s goal.

Pioli told DAZN: “We had to make the pressure no more than positive energy, because we were challenging something that when we started working together was unthinkable.

Milan now face Inter in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Tuesday before traveling to Rome to face Lazio next weekend as takeover talks take place.

Neither Milan nor Investcorp have commented to AFP on reports that the club was sold by US hedge fund Elliott for around one billion euros ($1.08 billion).

Elliott took over the club in 2018 when previous owner Li Yonghong defaulted on debt to finance the €740 million purchase of Milan from former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

– Inter followed in Milan’s footsteps –
Simone Inzaghi’s third consecutive win for Inter confirmed their resurgence after a difficult February and March and kept them in the game against Milan.

“Today it was important to win. We are very happy but we need to continue like this,” Inter midfielder Marcel Brozovic told DAZN.

“We are a good team, we have six games left and we need to win them all.”

Brozovic opened the scoring for Inter with his first goal of the season, and it was a spectacular effort by the man that put Inter on the mark.

The Croatian midfielder knocked out goalkeeper Danilo D’Ambrosio with a beautiful left-footed shot past even Ivan Provedel, sending Inter to victory.

Martin Erlic headed off the post shortly after the break but Inter missed some good opportunities before Martinez doubled the lead.

The worst miss came in the 49th minute, when Ivan Perisic brilliantly snatched the ball from Edin Dzeko’s feet just as the Bosnian started getting hit in the second minute.

Denzel Dumfries shot from close range but Martinez scored his 15th goal of the season of the season when he caught up to Perisic’s pass and scored the second.

Giulio Maggiore equalized with a superb shot with two minutes remaining, but Sanchez hit the finish line for Martinez in the final seconds to secure the win.