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Serie A: Battle for second place

Battle for second place: Milan target spot consolidation with Torin win, Juve to host Europa League-chasing Sassuolo

May 11, 2021 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The battle to secure European football is on in the Serie A with two of Italy's top clubs fighting to make a claim for a spot.

Preview

The Serie A top-four race could take an interesting turn with four teams contending for the three remaining Champions League slots set for crucial tests this midweek. Just as it has been the case in recent weeks, fans of the competition are anticipating another dramatic round of matches with the prospect that the table's outlook will be altered firmly in place.

Over the weekend, a host of teams put in a strong charge to get a step closer to the finish line and would be tasked to add to this bid with just three games left to play. On Sunday, AC Milan climbed into the third position by beating Juventus 3-0 to secure the maximum points at the Allianz Stadium, taking their tally for the season to 72. Less than 24 hours later, the Rossoneri have been demoted to the fourth position - one point behind now second-placed Napoli after Genaro Gattuso's men beat Udinese 5-1.

Atalanta currently sits in the third position with 72 points as well and will host relegation-threatened Benevento. With the rest of their rivals not relenting, nothing but a win should do the trick for AC Milan when they travel to Torino on Wednesday night. Excluding defeats to Sassuolo and Lazio back in April, the San Siro outfit is unbeaten in its last six appearances in Serie A. This includes five wins and a draw. In the wins recorded, they have not scored less than two goals in any of the fixtures.

On the contrary, Torino boasts a similar record, as bar the defeats to Sampdoria and Napoli, they are unbeaten in their last six outings. The attacking prowess of the Turin remains no secret, and with their local rivals Juventus needing a favor to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive, it remains to be seen whether they can ruin the party for Pioli and his Milan brigade.

Elsewhere, the Bianconeri will try their luck against Sassuolo and will aim at bouncing back with aplomb. The narrative of potentially featuring in the Europa League has dominated headlines in the past 48 hours and Andrea Pirlo and his charges would have to regroup quickly and salvage the situation with the end of the season looming.

So far, the Old Ladies have secured four wins, two draws and two losses from their last eight outings. With 69 points from 35 outings, a win should put them level with either Atalanta or AC Milan provided either of the two sides loses in their respective games.

Nevertheless, getting past Sassuolo is a different test all-together with the hosts actively pushing to potentially earn a Europa League spot. They approach Thursday's meeting with Juve off the back of a 2-1 win over Genoa, a result that stretched their unbeaten run in Serie A to six. But the odds are well stacked against them as they have been unable to beat the Bianconeri in 10 previous attempts. The last time they got the better of the Turin club was in 2015.

Broadcast information: Where to watch the games live

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Torino 0 - 7 Milan

May 12, 2021 2:45pmStadio Olimpico Grande Torino (Torino)

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Match details, result and original broadcast info

Sassuolo 1 - 3 Juventus

May 12, 2021 2:45pmMAPEI Stadium - Città del Tricolore (Reggio nell'Emilia)

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