AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani praised his players following their 2-1 victory over Inter and proclaimed that their Champions League destiny was in their own hands.
If Milan win their last two league matches, against Napoli and Udinese, they will definitely play in Europe’s premier competition next season.
For the first time in months, they are not relying on others to slip up.
“Milan dominated the match for an hour-and-a-quarter, then Inter came out to play. I think we deserved to win,” Galliani said. “Now we are the architects of our own destiny. We just have to win two matches.”
Coach Carlo Ancelotti claimed the difference between his team and Inter had been the desire his players showed from the start of the match.
Ancelotti said: “We were a lot more aggressive than them in the first half.”
“Inter were, at least initially, more conservative. That helped us because it allowed us to play with more freedom,” he said.
Asked about the season as a whole, Ancelotti complained about the number of injuries his team has suffered.
“I think this season, we’ve suffered a lot from the number of important players that have been missing such as [Filippo] Inzaghi, Kaka, Ronaldo and Pato,” he said. “Don’t forget that Pippo [Inzaghi] missed three months. When he’s on form and when he isn’t there you can see the difference. Now he’s on top of his game and that gives us an extra dimension in attack.”
Milan took the lead through Inzaghi, after he got on the end of a Kaka cross to score from barely a yard out.
Kaka doubled the home side’s advantage at the San Siro Stadium on Sunday when he pounced on a mistake from Patrick Vieira to fire home low under Julio Cesar’s body.
Julio Cruz hit back for Inter with a free-kick, but it was too little too late for the champions.
Fiorentina went down 2-1 in Sardinia against Cagliari as goals from Brazilian Jeda and Daniele Conti gave the hosts a two goal lead before Argentine Mario Santana pulled one back.
It rounded off a painful week for them in which they also lost in their UEFA Cup semi-final on penalties to Rangers.
“It’s been a terrible week, black, one to forget,” said Romania forward Adrian Mutu, who was sent off late on against Cagliari. “We’ve lost everything, the UEFA Cup and fourth place.”
Coach Cesare Prandelli was trying to stay positive ahead of his team’s final matches against Parma and Torino.
“The league is not over yet, we’re ready to keep going until the end,” he said. “We have to win the next two matches and then wait to see what the other teams do. After a week such as this one they’re [the players] feeling bad, but we cannot forget about how we reached this position. We’ve had an incredible season, now we’ll play the last two matches and we’ll see what happens.”