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Sports Reborn Milan lacking firepower in bid to end 11-year drought

19:11  07 april  2022
19:11  07 april  2022 Source:   msn.com

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MILAN (AP) — AC Milan is a club reborn on and off the soccer field.

  Reborn Milan lacking firepower in bid to end 11-year drought © Provided by The Canadian Press

Three years ago, Milan finished fifth in Serie A and was forced to withdraw from the following season’s Europa League because of UEFA financial fair play breaches.

That came months after U.S.-based hedge fund Elliott Management took over control of the club and assumed its debts of 164 million euros (then $190 million) stemming from Chinese owner Li Yonghong's missed loan repayment.

Milan is currently at the top of Serie A with an end to its 11-year title drought in sight, while new sponsorship deals continue to rectify the financial issues. The club signed its 28th new partnership deal in the last two years on Thursday with Japanese video company Konami.

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Still, Milan ended up with a draw against Bologna on Monday, leaving it only one point ahead of second-place Napoli and four ahead of defending champion Inter Milan — which has a game in hand.

Milan travels to Torino on Sunday, shortly after Napoli hosts Fiorentina. Inter plays Hellas Verona on Saturday.

With only seven games remaining, Milan needs to find a solution quickly to its lack of goals. Against Bologna, the team had 33 shots on goal without managing to score. Milan has only scored four goals in its past six matches in all competitions, from 103 attempts.

“Unfortunately it’s a period where we’re creating a lot but we’re not finishing off our chances,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “It should have been a good weekend for us on paper but instead we’ve seen our advantage cut. The next match against Torino will be difficult but we’ll prepare for it in the best way possible.”

Inter wins at Juventus 1-0, Napoli beats Atalanta to go top

  Inter wins at Juventus 1-0, Napoli beats Atalanta to go top MILAN (AP) — Inter Milan halted its poor run of form in the best possible way by beating fierce rival Juventus 1-0 to boost its Serie A title chances and hinder its opponent’s own hopes on Sunday. Hakan Çalhanoğlu converted a penalty at the second time of asking in first-half stoppage time. Defending champion Inter moved to within three points of leaders AC Milan and Napoli, which won at Atalanta 3-1 earlier. Inter, which has played a match fewer than most of its title rivals, had won just one of its previous seven league matches.

Milan has scored 10 goals in its past 10 league matches. It scored 46 in its first 21 matches of the Serie A season.

Olivier Giroud has not scored for more than a month and Zlatan Ibrahimović’s last goal came at the beginning of January – although the veteran forward has had injury problems. Among the younger attackers, Rafael Leão last scored in February and Brahim Díaz hasn’t netted since September.

“We’re very frustrated at the moment,” Giroud said. “But we’re going to work hard this week to win the next game.”

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Daniella Matar, The Associated Press

MATCHDAY: AC Milan hosts Genoa; Real Betis, Rennes eye CL .
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Friday: SPAIN Real Betis can move ahead of Atlético Madrid and into fourth place in the Spanish league if it wins at Real Sociedad. Betis enters the round just one point behind Atlético. Sociedad is also in the fight for a top-four finish and a Champions League berth. A victory would lift the Basque Country team level with Atlético before the titleholders play Espanyol on Sunday. The game is one of two league matches Betis has before playing the final of the Copa del Rey against Valencia.

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