Gennaro Gattuso has admitted his Milan side now face a battle to qualify for the Europa League with a finish outside the top four looking almost certain after their 1-1 draw with Torino.
Milan could have been behind within the first two minutes of the game when Cristian Ansaldi was brought down in the area winning a penalty for the home side. However, Andrea Belotti stepped up and cannoned his effort off the crossbar.
Just five minutes later Milan were ahead thanks to a stunning volley from Giacomo Bonaventura from a cleared corner. It left Salvatore Sirigu with no chance as it sailed into his top corner, however Milan couldn’t hold onto their lead.
With just 20 minutes to play, an Adem Ljajic corner was headed home by Lorenzo De Silvestri to earn the home side a point and deny Gattuso’s team all three points. Speaking to Sky Sports Italia (via Football Italia) after the game, Gattuso admitted his side should have killed the game off earlier, an issue his side have had all season long.
He said: “Perhaps we were a little tired in the last 20-25 minutes, but we should’ve killed the game off earlier and it’s an issue we’ve had for a while now. The same goes for marking on set plays. Having said that, Torino deserved the point and they could’ve even won it, just as we could with Ignazio Abate in the final minute.”
Today’s result means Milan have now scored just three goals in their last five Serie A games, however Gattuso went on to admit he feels his side are performing better now despite the lack of goals.
He added: “We have to understand where we can improve to win games, as we’ve dropped too many points along the way this season.
“It’s true we don’t score as many goals at the moment, but I think we’ve been playing better during these draws than when we were winning a couple of months ago. Let’s not forget that Milan have lost many of these matches over the last few years, so let’s be happy with the point.”
The draw means Milan remain in sixth place, are ten points behind fourth placed Lazio with just five games remaining meaning a top four finish is now highly unlikely and Gattuso admitted his side face a fight to qualify for the Europa League next season.
He added: “It’s going to be a battle for the Europa League spots and we’ve got the Coppa Italia Final with Juventus to play too.”