The Rossoneri (4th) seem to have drawn a line under the scudetto, with twelve points behind Naples which could become fifteen in the evening if the leader maintains its rhythm against AS Roma (6th), in the poster for the 20th day of Serie A.

"We probably won't keep the scudetto, but our scudetto will be to stay in the Champions zone (four first places, editor's note)", admitted coach Stefano Pioli on Sky Sport.

Despite a goal from Olivier Giroud, his first since the World Cup, the Rossoneri were once again unrecognizable, as they had been in the Italian Super Cup against Inter Milan (3-0) ten days ago or Tuesday in Rome against Lazio (4-0).

The champion, outclassed by a team which had not won since October, conceded eighteen goals in seven matches in 2023. And it had been more than 25 years and a 6-1 defeat against Juventus of Turin that he did not hadn't conceded five goals at home.

AC Milan player Olivier Giroud celebrates a goal scored against Sassuolo, at the San Siro stadium in Milan on January 29, 2023. © MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

If they are still temporarily in the right car for the C1, the Milanese could be overtaken in the evening by Lazio Rome and AS Rome, just behind at one point.

"We concede too many goals, it's difficult to win when you concede three, four, five goals...", sighed Giroud.

"We must stay united and fight together. It's a difficult time, we must all get up together," added the vice-world champion, a week before the derby against Inter Milan.

Pogba on the bench

Juventus are also in low spirits after being beaten for the second time this season by Monza.

After being denied a first goal for an offside of a few centimeters, Monza concretized its good start to the match by Patrick Ciurria (18th), taking advantage of a Turin defense stopped, then doubled the score by Dany Mota (39th ).

Something to perplex Massimiliano Allegri: "We conceded ten goals in three matches (1-5 against Napoli, 3-3 against Atalanta, editor's note)... Monza played well but we made it easier for them: we didn't can't take a goal from a touch, they came out with disarming ease...", regretted the Turin coach on DAZN, even if his team raised their heads in the second half.

Monza player Dany Mota scores a goal against Juventus, in Turin on January 29, 2023. © Isabella BONOTTO / AFP

Monza move up to 11th place, ahead of Juventus now 13th.

The Bianconeri are 15 points behind fourth place synonymous with the Champions League, pending appeal against the penalty imposed by the Italian Federation in the case of overvalued capital gains.

If Dusan Vlahovic returned to competition after three months of absence, Paul Pogba remained on the bench for his first call since his return to Juve last summer.

The Frenchman has not played competitively since April, with Manchester United.

He injured the lateral meniscus of his right knee in July, after a first friendly preparation match, and had to be operated on in early September, which deprived him of the World Cup-2022.

The "Pickaxe" can hope to return to competition on Thursday during the Italian Cup quarter-finals against Lazio Rome.

© 2023 AFP