AC Milan will turn their attention to cement top spot in Italy this weekend after the gulf between the Serie A leaders and Europe’s best was exposed.
Milan have been revitalised over the last two years under coach Stefano Pioli but crashed out of the Champions League after being comfortably beaten by a second-string Liverpool team on Tuesday.
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AC Milan did not win a single match in the competition at the San Siro. Four points and last place in Group B was a pitiful return for a club who have been crowned kings of Europe seven times but hadn’t been in the Champions League since the 2013/14 season.
“Those matches will help us in our development… it’s a shame, we desperately wanted to stay in Europe and we tried to not lose the game but unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it,” said Pioli.
Pioli now has no European football to distract him from Milan’s attempt to win their first league title in over a decade, the first stage in the Rossoneri’s rebirth from the precipice of financial ruin to Italy’s top table.
His injury-hit side travel to Udinese on Saturday to take on a club that sacked coach Luca Gotti while Milan were trying and failing to prolong their stay in Europe.
Udinese have won just three times this season and should be no match for Milan, who are a point ahead of city rivals Inter Milan in a four-way title race in which former leaders Napoli and Atalanta are right on their heels.