AC Milan have crept up into the Champions League positions after Alessio Romagnoli’s late goals against Genoa and Udinese made it three wins from three for the Rossoneri, as their push for the top four gets back on track.
Pressure was beginning to build on manager Gennaro Gattuso following Milan’s lacklustre derby display – which further increased after the 2-1 home defeat to Real Betis in the Europa League. But now, two weeks on, things are looking rosier for the Rossoneri and they have their captain to thank after leading by example and rescuing his side on two occasions.
After a 3-2 victory over Sampdoria, Milan entertained Genoa in midweek looking to build up some positive momentum in the league. However, after taking an early lead through a fine Suso effort, they were pegged back when a Christian Kouamé shot took an unfortunate deflection off Romagnoli, which directed the ball wickedly over Gianluigi Donnarumma and into the far corner.
It looked as if Milan were destined to settle for a point, particularly with Genoa’s keeper Andrei Radu in inspired form. But then, at the death, Radu came out to the penalty spot and punched a ball meekly away to the edge of the box where Romagnoli, looking to make amends for his unfortunate own goal, looped a ball back over everyone and (perhaps unintentionally), found the net. Whether it was meant or not mattered little, as the San Siro erupted as Milan managed to capitalise on their game in hand in the dying embers of the match.
Once again, on Sunday, Milan were struggling to find that quality in the final third to grab them that all important goal. Again, they looked as if they were going to drop points. Again, it looked as if questions would be asked of the side. But once more, in the space of five days, their captain stepped forward and fired home a stoppage time winner. Tensions rose when the assistant ruled it out for offside but, luckily for Milan, VAR intervened and overruled the decision.
From being on the cusp of two disappointing draws the captain salvaged what could be precious points in the race for Europe. Without Romagnoli’s late goals, the Rossoneri would be four points worse off and questions would still be bouncing around about Gattuso. Now the former Milan midfielder is off the hotseat, for the time being at least.
The remit for this season was Champions League qualification and with Roma in poor form, and Lazio struggling to muster any consistency, fourth is certainly up for grabs. Though, they cannot rely on their captain to dig them out of trouble every week. Some of Milan’s frontmen are going to have to start bagging some goals with greater frequency if they want to maintain the challenge.