AC KNOCKED OUT

AC Milan were knocked out of the Champions League in the most humbling circumstances after a 5-1 defeat against Atletico Madrid in the last 16 stage. This was a result that put more pressure on manager Clarence Seedorf, who took over only a few months ago. Seedorf rested a number of players for the weekend’s match against Udinese, which ended in a 1-0 defeat for the team. It has been rumoured that Seedorf had made a priority to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League rather than compete for the Europa league places.

The financial rewards of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League are far greater than going through an entire season of Europa league football. However, the ploy did not work after Milan allowed Atletico Madrid to take the lead after just two minutes through Diego Costa. Even though Kaka managed to get the club back into the game with a goal in the first half, the match was effectively over in the second half after goals from Raul Garcia and Turan. The defeat means that Milan have won only once in the last five matches.

They will now shift their attention to the league, in which they are 10th in the table. Seedorf said after the match that the tie was lost in the first half.

“You could see after the second goal that the team struggled psychologically to react, as they often do. The second goal turned off the light and sapped the energy from the team. We analysed the situation together. Obviously the Champions League was an important objective for us and economically for the club. We had played well in the first leg and showed in the first half that we could play on a par with Atletico, but couldn’t be consistent for the whole game,” said Seedorf.

AC TAKE OPPORTUNITY

AC Milan secured their 9th victory of this season when they overcame Sampdoria with a scoreboard of 2-0. It was the 2nd consecutive triumph that Ac.Milan claimed since Seedorf took over of the club.

This is something that Ac.Milan needs as it gives them a boost in morale and with an upcoming match against the table toppers Juventus, it certainly will be a match that Ac.Milan aren’t favorites on winning.

Seedorf knows very well the threat that Juventus represents but he stated that despite going against the club which is located at the very top of the Serie A standings, they will try to win instead of conforming to just a draw.

“Juve coach Antonio Conte’s team is doing great things. But we have one week to prepare for this match. We will play at home and we will try to win. We would go crazy if we looked at the table. We just have to try to improve and grow.

“Only at the end of the season will we analyze our campaign. There’s no doubt the win at Sampdoria has given us further strength and a morale boost to continue improving.” Seedorf said to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ac.Milan has already fallen behind in the Champions League as they lost 2-0 against Atletico Madrid as they played in San Siro and now will have to visit the home turf of the Spanish team to play the 2nd leg and if they manage on securing a victory over Juventus, their hopes will be up when they visit the Vicente Calderon on March 12.

Overcoming both Juventus and Atletico Madrid will be easier said than done but the head coach is confident that his team is capable of doing it, and it just might be the momentum boost they need to continue charging for the top spots of Serie A.