It’s been a fantastic day for the Rossoneri; not only because we’re two days removed from a 3-0 league win vs. Empoli, or that Piatek and Paqueta are showing world class capabilities, but because Fiorentina equalized Inter in the 101st minute with a penalty from midfielder Jordan Veretout.
The thrilling match means that Inter remains in third, but now with only a TWO point lead over Milan!! The Devil’s have been in mighty impressive form as of late, and if they can sustain it for the rest of the season they could finish in the top three for the first time since the 2012-2013 season!
Knowing Gattuso, Milan will be striving for that third place spot and the passionate manager won’t be satisfied until they have it. Nonetheless, Milan still qualify for the Champions League if they’re at least able to retain the clubs current position in fourth. But that raises the question, is Milan ready to play some Champions League football?
The answer is part yes, and part no.
One of the arguments for Milan not being ready for the Champions League is a lack of CL experience. Nearly all of our starters have been acquired within the last few seasons and have none or very little elite European experience, despite playing in fairly competitive leagues. When it comes to highly competitive tournaments like the CL, experience is a known advantage and that is simply one the current Milan squad does not possess right now
Another concern is that Milan hasn’t been entirely consistent this season, especially against higher profile teams. Yes, they’ve been able to pull of some important wins; but the majority of these big team matches have been either draws or close losses. However, the consistency this season is superior to that of last season and those before it; and the urge to win within the Rossoneri is visible on the pitch.
That is why the answer is also part yes, Milan have been working towards this for some time now and it finally looks like things are really picking up steam. We have the right manager, we have the quality players, and we finally have the mindset of the true Milan again. As a result, we’re finally starting to see some real progress in the form of wins.
These promising results give fans a lot of hope, and remind us of times when competing this well was a regular occurrence; and by the look of things, it may just be once again. While Milan might not be quite ready enough to make a deep Champions League run, the opportunity is well-deserved and is one long coming for all the staff, players, and especially us, the fans.