AC Milan and Women’s Football pundit Lucia Pirola, from Radio Rossonera, spoke to us in an exclusive interview ahead of the decisive match for the rossonere against their city rivals Internazionale on Serie A matchday 17 this weekend. She also weighed on AC Milan next fixtures, the loss on the Coppa Italia and, of course, making it to the Champions League next season.
Here’s what she said:
First, what is your opinion about the victory over Empoli last game?
“I think it was a very important win to get back to winning ways, it was essential to get back to the right path in the league after that heavy defeat against Juventus in Vinovo. As for the performance, Milan created a lot, but did not have enough shots at the target, so the win by only 1-0: the score could have been higher, and the match could have been closed earlier, perhaps allowing the main players to rest a little. But the important thing was the three points, which came.”
What are your expectations for this weekend’s Derby della Madonnina?
“I expect a Milan “healed” from the tough phase of recent weeks, able to react to the defeat in the first leg, because the qualification in Coppa Italia is absolutely within reach. And I expect them to be a little more clinical up front, given that Inter are having a good time and this will be an open game.”
How do you explain the defeat to that same Internazionale in the Coppa Italia semi-final?
“Inter arrived at the game in a good shape and charged up after beating Fiorentina. AC Milan’s under-the-top performance, which failed to reverse the disadvantage gained in the first few minutes of the game, did the rest, and the inertia of the game brought the final result. It will take a lot of attention and a lot of courage not to replicate the first leg performance and result as well.”
In three games (Inter and Napoli in Serie A, and the return of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter), AC Milan will have a series of direct clashes with Roma, Fiorentina and Sassuolo. Do you think the Rossoneri can win everyone? To whom must AC Milan keep an eye on?
“I believe that victory is always possible, but I believe that it will take something more than what was shown in the first half of the league. In particular, I think Roma are in a moment of great form, they started the year very well and are achieving incredible results, including the victory in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus. Those matches will be essential for make it to the Champions League, especially in the fixture against Sassuolo which is only a few points away. So, it is possible to win all the direct clashes, yes, but I don’t think it will be an easy task just because of what was done in the first part of the league.”
The last and very easy question: Do you think Milan can win the Coppa Italia and secure second place in Serie A?
“I think second place in the league and qualification in the Champions League is perfectly within reach, they just have to keep their attention and do not make silly mistakes between now and the end of the championship, considering that, for example, the face off against Juventus has already been played. To be honest it would scare me if AC Milan would have to face the bianconere, could both overturn the first leg results. But never say never!”
Image credits: acmilan.com