At the start of January, the Rossoneri were on a 27-game unbeaten streak dating back to the previous season. The following weeks, however, did not turn out so good.
Stefano PioliThe team have only won two of their last six Serie A matches, with rivals Inter Milan taking the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table.
AC Milan lose crucial ground in Serie A title race after Napoli defeat
AC Milan’s misery worsened on Sunday after suffering a 1-0 home loss to Napoli. The loss was significant as Inter Milan and Juventus both won their respective matches.
Inter beat Torino 2-1, while Juventus beat Cagliari 3-1. As it stands, AC Milan are nine points behind Inter, who are comfortably seated at the top of the table.
The Rossoneri could even drop to third place if Juventus win their game in hand. Now is not the time to lose points, but unfortunately AC Milan cannot pull themselves together.
They can still qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season, but it will be disappointing if they fail further in the title race. AC Milan have already lost ground, but they can no longer afford to lose points in the remainder of the season.
Injuries derail AC Milan title hopes
While AC Milan’s struggles in recent weeks have been disappointing, Stefano Pioli has been left helpless by the large number of injuries on his plate.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Mandzukic, Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu have all been on the treatment table, leaving the AC Milan manager with a very slim squad to choose from.
“When you miss so many players it makes a difference, especially when it’s players who also bring experience and leadership,” Pioli said after the loss to Napoli, as quoted by Leg sports.
“We had to play a lot of games without a real center-forward, so given all of that, the team deserves praise for everything they’ve been able to do under the circumstances. Try to imagine Inter without [Romelu] Lukaku, Lautaro (Martinez) or (Alexis) Sanchez; maybe Juventus without (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Alvaro) Morata or (Federico) Chiesa, ”Pioli said.
Indeed, AC Milan’s injuries played a big part in the club’s faltering title ambitions. It remains to be seen how they cope with their exhausted squad until the end of the season.