It wasn’t pretty nor was it easy, but AC Milan emerged 2-1 victors against Fiorentina last night at San Siro to ensure a winning end to the first part of the season.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews) write that before yesterday’s match against Fiorentina, to better motivate his boys during the warm-up, Stefano Pioli encouraged his team by getting them in a huddle and saying: “They say we are no longer hungry but it’s not true… and tonight we will prove it!”
Milan gave positive responses by fighting until the end and they never gave up, getting the winning goal through a slice of luck in second half injury time as Nikola Milenkovic directed a cross into his own net.
After the game, Paolo Maldini also spoke about the spirit of this Milan side: “We won with sacrifice, without a harmonious game but with the desire to win. Giroud, who must going to the World Cup, he ran for 95 minutes without thinking about it. And Dest, who was returning from an injury, gritted his teeth.”
After the disappointing draw against Cremonese, the Rossoneri knew could not afford more dropped points, as Maldini himself admitted: “A draw would have been half a defeat.”
Napoli remain eight points ahead after they too won in a dramatic 3-2 game against Udinese in which they nearly threw away a three-goal lead, and Maldini believes the team are still capable of catching Spalletti’s men.
“Of course, last year before the derby we were seven behind and we won. Napoli are doing something incredible, we have to combine this new awareness with the enthusiasm from last year,” he said.
The Diavolo have appeared rather tired in recent weeks, so the break comes at the right time to recharge the batteries and then start again in early January.