AC Milan passed a major test with a 3-1 victory away to Napoli in the Italian Serie A on Sunday which has got people talking them up as a genuine title contender.
French defender Tiemoue Bakayoko received his marching orders in the 65th minute, with Milan eventually adding a third from Jens Petter Hauge in stoppage-time to seal all three points, holding their lead ahead of second-placed Sassuolo.
Sassuolo, along with top five clubs AS Roma, Juventus and Inter Milan, all won over the weekend, meaning Milan weren’t able to pull any further clear, but claiming a victory at the Stadio San Paolo shows they’re a vastly improved outfit in 2020-21.
“This is evidently an important victory, it shows we are on the right track, but its really premature at the eighth round to talk about what might happen in May,” Milan’s stand-in manager Daniele Bonera post-game, with Stefano Pioli, his assistant manager and another four members of staff at home self-isolating.
“I spoke to Pioli after the game, he was very happy and got to see all the lads in the dressing room too.
“We have a great squad at our disposal, we are aware that were up there now and want to stay there for as long as possible.
“This isn’t a flash in the pan, we started this work a long way back.”
Milan will be sweating on the fitness of evergreen 39-year-old ex-Sweden international Ibrahimovic, whose double took his season tally to eight goals, before succumbing to a thigh injury.
“We dont have much information right now, it looks like a muscular problem, but we have to wait a few days to see the extent of it,” Bonera said.
Milan host struggling Fiorentina next weekend, while there’s a huge clash brewing between surprise second-placed outfit Sassuolo and Inter Milan on Saturday. Napoli will also face AS Roma on Sunday too.