Serie A: AC Milan hits seven to move closer to Champions League return

Ante Rebic scores a hat-trick to help Milan thrash Torino 7-0; Inter stretches unbeaten run with 3-1 win over AS Roma.

AC Milan's Ante Rebic scores during the Serie A contest on Wednesday in Turin. - AP

A hat-trick from Ante Rebic helped AC Milan thrash struggling Torino 7-0 in Serie A on Wednesday to move a step closer to securing a return to the Champions League next season.

MATCH CENTRE

Milan has not played in Europe’s premier competition since 2014, but a comprehensive victory in Turin kept it third in the standings, three points clear of Juventus in fifth with two games to play.

Full back Theo Hernandez scored early on with a thunderous strike, before Franck Kessie’s penalty gave Milan a two-goal lead at the interval. After the break, the floodgates opened as Brahim Diaz scored a fine goal before Rebic helped himself to his first in the 67th minute. Two more followed from the Croatian forward to give Milan the most comfortable of wins in what was expected to be a difficult match with Torino fighting for survival down the other end of the table.

RELATED - Ronaldo, Dybala hit 100th Juventus goal

Milan is level on 75 points with Atalanta, which also won on Wednesday, in second, with the pair due to meet on the final day. Torino is four points above the relegation zone and has a game in hand on its rival for the drop.

Milan came into its second match in Turin in four days having beaten Juventus 3-0 at the weekend with the pressure on after Napoli leapfrogged Stefano Pioli’s side into third with a 5-1 thrashing of Udinese on Tuesday.

 

With Juve and Atalanta winning on Wednesday, there was no room for manoeuvre, but after Hernandez superbly broke the deadlock, Milan never looked back. “Two weeks ago everyone said we were half dead and out of the (top four) race, but now we have destiny in our hands,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“By playing like this we have a better chance of achieving our goals and reaching the Champions League. Until you cross the finish line, you can’t give up anything. We have done so much that we have to hold on for a week.”

The rout was the first time Milan scored six or more goals in a Serie A away game since May 2001 against Inter Milan, and it has now won 15 away league games this season, equalling the best tally in a single Italian top-flight campaign.

Milan hosts Cagliari on Sunday, before a final-day showdown with Atalanta the following weekend.

Champion Inter sees off Roma to stretch unbeaten run

Champion Inter Milan stretched its unbeaten Serie A run to 20 games as it eased to a 3-1 victory over AS Roma on Wednesday.

MATCH CENTRE

Crowned Serie A winner for the first time in 11 years, Inter showed no sign of letting up as goals from Marcelo Brozovic, Matias Vecino and Romelu Lukaku preserved its 13-point lead at the top with two games to play.

Coach Antonio Conte has resisted resting too many players as the season comes to a close, and a strong Inter side burst into a two-goal lead inside 20 minutes thanks to well-taken goals from Brozovic and Vecino. Edin Dzeko set up Henrikh Mkhitaryan just after the half-hour mark to give Roma hope of a comeback, but Inter’s top scorer Lukaku made sure of a fourth successive win at the death.

Inter moved on to 88 points - its biggest haul since 2007 - while Roma, which will be coached by Jose Mourinho next season, is now guaranteed to finish no higher than seventh. “It’s always right to play with desire and fighting spirit,” Inter assistant coach Cristian Stellini said.

“Nothing changes when you are already champions, but you do play with a greater lightness and happiness. Always playing to win denotes the right mentality and attitude, which we must always have for our growth path.”

 

OTHER RESULTS

1. Cagliari 0-0 Fiorentina

2. Sassuolo 1-3 Juventus

3. Bologna 0-2 Genoa

4. Sampdoria 2-2 Spezia

5. Atalanta 2-0 Benevento

6. Lazio 1-0 Parma

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :