Olivier Giroud of AC Milan reaches for the ball during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and AC Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Sunday, May 28, 2023. Milan took the lead five minutes before the break when Giroud headed home a header inside the box. | Photo Credit: AP
AC Milan booked a place in next season’s Champions League with a 1-0 victory at Juventus as a goal from Olivier Giroud ensured a top-four finish in Serie A on Sunday.
Fourth-placed Milan on 67 points hold a six-point lead over fifth-placed Atalanta heading into the final round of matches, while Juventus are in seventh place with 59.
Milan joined rivals Inter Milan and Lazio in guaranteeing their places in next season’s Champions League as top-four finishers along with Serie A champions Napoli.
There is still a possibility for five Italian teams to participate in the competition next season if AS Roma beat Sevilla in the Europa League final on Wednesday.
Milan manager Stefano Pioli has expressed his relief that his team has finally confirmed their participation in Europe’s elite club competition.
“Obviously, the Champions League gave us more than we expected and then we were disappointed to go out in the semi-final against Inter, but our journey there was more than anyone saw coming,” said by Pioli. DAZN.
“At the same time, we didn’t do as well as expected in Serie A, but we’re in the Champions League for the third season running, I don’t know how many years it’s been since that happened.”
Juve, who were docked 10 points on Monday by an Italian soccer court in a case centered on their transfer deals, started the match aggressively, knowing that just one win would be enough to keep their slim hopes alive. to get a top-four finish.
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri made changes to his usual starting team as the club’s leading scorer Dusan Vlahovic was sidelined with a thigh injury.
Angel Di Maria came close to giving the hosts the lead midway through the first half when he received a pass from Moise Kean near the penalty spot but his effort went wide.
Milan took the lead five minutes before the break when Giroud headed home a header inside the box.
In stoppage time, Danilo came close to finding an equalizer for the hosts, but his close-range volley was blocked on the goal-line by Milan’s Pierre Kalulu.
As a tired looking Juventus side failed to find an equalizer the match was interrupted to boos from the home fans.