AC Milan Return To European Football in 2017/18
AC Milan's victory over Bologna earlier today sees a return to European football in 2017/18 following a three year absence.
A three nil victory with goals from Gerard Deulofeu, Keisuke Honda and Gianluca Lapadula in front of more than forty thousand fans at the San Siro saw the Rossoneri clinch sixth place with one game left in the current 2016/17 season.
It means a return to European competition for the first time in the last three years.
Speaking to acmilan.com following the game, head coach Vincenzo Montella felt it was a fresh start for the club moving forward, but ultimately a return to Champions League football is the aim.
'In the first half, we showed the right attitude but didn't manage to make our chances count. Bertolacci and Bacca were not to blame, but I had to change something. The boys did well to put into action what I asked them. This is my hundredth win in Serie A, it has a special taste, for AC Milan, for the new ownership and for myself. It was not easy today.'
Reflecting on the season so far with one Serie A game against Cagliari to go.
'I think it has been a positive season. We could have done better, but this is a new beginning: now we have to work to aim a bit higher. I am really happy for this group and I am really proud of being their coach: it was not easy to create a group that gives everything they have, every game.'
Montella also had fantastic praise for the fans.
'The fans have been great this year, they have always backed us despite the team was not fighting for the objectives they have always been used to. They have always been there for us and that's why we are happy also for them.'
'I have always had the opportunity to work well, surrounded by positive and friendly people. I could express my ideas. We all have to improve to make it back into the Champions League. This is AC Milan's history.'
Skipper Alessio Romangnoli was also speaking after the game and he knew how important it was to have secured European football once again.
'We played a fine game, starting well. The goal was the only thing missing. In the second half, we managed to break the deadlock. We are happy, it was not an easy game.'
With victory and sixth place meaning we now play in the Europa League qualifying rounds next campaign, he went on to say.
'Clearly we reached our objective, but AC Milan has to aim higher. I think that being back in Europe after many years is important for everyone.'
'I will play in Europe for the first time, let's hope we do well. It was our objective from the beginning.'