Milan failed to take advantage of what was a big opportunity at San Siro last night, held to a 0-0 draw by Cagliari. With a win, they would have secured their spot in next season’s Champions League, but now it’s all up in the air. Most likely, a win is needed against Atalanta in the final round.
The Rossoneri struggled to break down what was a defensive Cagliari side, while some of the tactical choices by Stefano Pioli were questionable. In short, it wasn’t a good night for Milan who once again failed to deliver on their home turf, which has been really disappointing to see throughout the season.
Juventus managed to beat Inter on Saturday evening and that means the Bianconeri are now just one point behind both Milan and Napoli, who are on 76 points. The Rossoneri are in third place thanks to their H2H advantage, but both Napoli and Juventus have good chances of qualifying for UCL as long as they win.
It would force Milan to claim all three points at Atalanta, which is far from easy although the away form has been really impressive. Should they win, though, then they will not only secure a spot in the Champions League but also second place in the standings. On paper, therefore, it would make it a very good season.
But as has already been established, a win against Atalanta will be very tough and thus we have to look at alternatives paths to the UCL. Should Napoli drop points against Hellas Verona, then Milan would need just one point to finish above the Partenopei. Should Juventus drop points against Bologna, then the Rossoneri could even lose and still qualify.
It’s important to remember that Milan have H2H advantage over both Juventus and Napoli, meaning they will play in the Champions League as long as they finish on the same points. Should all three sides finish on the same points, which is a remote possibility, then Milan and Juve will qualify as per the mini-league (see below).
In any case, it’s still in the Rossoneri’s chance and with a bit of luck, they might not even need to win the game against Atalanta. The goal absolutely has to be a win, though, as Pioli’s men will have a point to prove after what was an extremely disappointing performance last night.
Milan 6 points (GS7 GC5, GD+2)
Juventus 6 points (GS5 GC6, GD-1)
Napoli 6 points (GS4 GC5, GD-1)
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