Milan secured the exit from the thirtieth stage of the Italian league in football while in the runner-up, after beating its host Parma 3-1 on Saturday, but lost the efforts of its veteran Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was sent off in the second half for objecting to the referee.
After tying at home in the previous stage against Sampdoria (1-1) and its opponent Juventus defeating Napoli (2-1) during the middle of the week in a postponed match, Milan found itself demanding on Saturday to beat the injured Parma in case he wanted to keep the position due to the point difference only. It separates him from “the old lady”.
With arch-neighbor Inter flying and moving steadily towards the first title since 2010, Milan’s ambition was logically limited to trying to return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2013-2014 season after it had been until the Christmas and New Year holidays in the lead.
The seven-time European champion entered the relegation-threatening Parma meeting after having made only four points from his last three matches, which made him trailing the runners-up by 11 points behind Inter.
But Stefano Pioli’s men continued their impressive results away from their stadium, where they lost only once this season, by beating Parma in a match that ended their first half, leading 2-0 thanks to goals from Croatia’s Ante Rebic after a pass from Ibrahimovic (8) and Ivory Frank Kissi after a pass from the French Theo Hernandez (44).
Things almost turned around in the second half when the referee raised the red card in the face of Ibrahimovic because of his objection to his decisions (60), which opened the door for Parma to return to the meeting and reduce the difference after only 6 minutes by Swedish-Italian Ricardo Galliolo after a header from Graziano Belli after Corner kick (66).
However, the Lombard team maintained its composure and marched the match to safety and finally settled the three points with a third goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time through Portuguese substitute Rafael Liao after a counter attack and a pass by his compatriot Diogo Dalot, reducing the difference between him and Inter to 8 points temporarily. Waiting for the last match with Cagliari on Sunday, with a 4 and 5 points ahead of Juventus and Atalanta, who play Sunday with Genoa and Fiorentina.
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