In 2013, with Allegri as coach, the Rossoneri hit the last place for the big cup by winning in Siena in the last minutes
Ten years later the context changes little. Pioli’s Milan will have to run to the finish line and fight to the last centimeter to grab a place in the next Champions League. A decade ago, Allegri’s Rossoneri did the same, hitting third place – then the last profit for participation in the queen competition – at the photo finish.
Step back, 2012/13 season. Allegri’s team, fresh from second place in the previous championship but returning from the farewells of Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva (direction of PSG), starts in slow motion and collects 3 defeats in the first 4 days. Against Sampdoria, Atalanta and Udinese. A horror start, which takes Milan to fifth from bottom of the standings with 7 points won with difficulty in the first 8 games, alongside Pescara, Chievo and Bologna. Between a bad fortune and heavy defeats, like in the derby against Inter (0-1) and against Lazio at the Olimpico (3-2). Meanwhile, Juve flies and leads with 22 points, with Napoli second with 19 and Inter third with 18. The season seems compromised right from the start: the declared goal, qualification for the next Champions League, appears very far away.
Here is Balo
One step at a time, the Devil regrouped and found positive results, clinging on to goals from El Shaarawy and Pazzini. The 1-0 victory against Juve and the draw against Napoli (2-2) gave morale to the group, which closed the first leg with 30 points and leapt to seventh place. “I said we would get out of that situation,” explains Allegri. “We have slowly taken the right path, but we are not solid yet”. The third place occupied by Napoli is 9 points away, but it also appears within reach because, in January, the condor’s blow shuffles the cards and balances. Adriano Galliani brings Mario Balotelli to Milanello. On the last day of the transfer market, to give the right boost from a European point of view. “Balo” didn’t disappoint: he made his debut against Udinese and overturned the Friulians with a brace, giving the Rossoneri the first 3 points. In total he scored 12 goals in 13 Serie A matches: the attack smiles and with him Allegri, who accumulates heavy points and arrives on March 2 putting the arrow on Lazio.
It’s matchday 27 and at San Siro Milan beat the biancocelesti in the direct match with a view to the Champions League, with a 3-0 knockout by Pazzini (brace) and Boateng. The chase leads to the precious overtaking and third place that Milan never leaves until the end. Or almost, because the closing of the championship gives a few too many thrills. On the last day, the Devil goes away to Siena to face the already relegated Tuscans. The standings photograph a third place at 72 points, Fiorentina chasing fourth at -2. Pure formality? Not exactly. Victory is needed for peace of mind, but Terzi’s goal puts the bianconeri ahead in the 25th minute. The Rossoneri chased the goal for almost the entire game. In the 84th minute, the turning point: Balotelli gets and scores the penalty to make it 1-1. Three minutes later, Mexes made it 2-1 in the scrum and gave Allegri a sigh of relief, who sealed a cinematic comeback with a shiver. The one that Pioli will also have to draw inspiration from for the season finale. Thinking that, sometimes, the last few minutes offer surprises.
May 19, 2023 (change May 19, 2023 | 17:07)
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