Vincenzo Montella dedicates AC Milan win to Berlusconi
Gerard Deulofeu's superb strike helped AC Milan keep their European hopes alive with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Fiorentina at San Siro.
AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella dedicated Sunday's 2-1 victory over Fiorentina at San Siro to outgoing club president Silvio Berlusconi.
All three goals came in the first-half of a compelling contest, with Nikola Kalinic cancelling out Juraj Kucka's headed opener for the hosts before Gerard Deulofeu curled home what proved to be the winner just past the half-hour mark.
And with Berlusconi possibly attending his final home game before a takeover by Chinese investors is completed next month, Montella was particularly pleased to see his side secure what was just their second win in seven outings.
"I don't know if it's the last game, but on behalf of the squad I dedicate this victory to president Berlusconi and the director," he told Mediaset Premium. "We are happy to have given them this small gift. I can only say that the world of football owes a great deal to Berlusconi. His Milan was the most successful Italian club and known all over the world. I don't know what will happen, but I do know we must thank the president, his ideas and his history."
Despite the visitors enjoying plenty of possession and arguably looking the more dangerous going forward, Montella felt that his team were good value for the victory which moved them to within four points of the final Europa League place.
"This is a deserved success, as we created more scoring opportunities than they did," he said. "We could have finished it off in the first half. In the second, it's true that Fiorentina forced us to go deep, but I don't remember a real shot on target from them. We decided to invite the Viola forward so we could hit them on the counter, but we didn't manage to take those chances.
"It's a victory that fills us with pride and keeps us in the running for Europe. In the head-to-head clashes we now have the advantage against both Lazio and Fiorentina, while we still have to play Inter and Atalanta again."
Next on the agenda for Milan – who sit four points behind fifth-placed Atalanta – is a trip to Sassuolo next Sunday, while Fiorentina face Borussia Mönchengladbach in the second leg of their Europa League tie on Thursday ahead of a home clash with Torino next Monday.