Leonardo Bonucci admits ‘we were expecting a different season’ but only thinks of beating Fiorentina and securing a Europa group stage place.
Milan were moments away from beating Atalanta for the first time since 2015, but Andrea Masiello managed to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 92′ minute to prevent the Rossoneri from securing sixth place on Matchday 37.
With just a single point separating Milan and Atalanta heading into the final match of the season, everything will depend on the match at San Siro against Fiorentina next week.
“This is not a result to celebrate,” Bonucci told Sky after the match. “On Sunday a real battle awaits us, a challenge to be won to better prepare for the [next] season. This campaign? We were expecting a different season, but fortunately we grew a lot. We lost too many points on the road against teams within our reach and teams fighting for salvation and we cannot afford it. Everything is a lesson and the many young players we have in the squad will be much readier after this year.
“I want to congratulate the whole team, on Sunday men were needed before players. Atalanta did well to believe until the end, with a little more attention we could’ve brought home the victory which would’ve closed the league. We think about preparing for the match against Fiorentina.
“We need a full San Siro to achieve the goal. Donnarumma? I told him that at his age I made worse mistakes, but I tried to figure out where I went wrong in order to improve myself. His game was positive, it’s not easy when you have all this pressure but I’m sure he will become a great goalkeeper.
“Buffon [who is expected to retire now after winning the title for the 7th time in a row]? [The Serie A win] is a deserved success for Juventus, and it’s not trivial after the season made by Napoli. Gigi is a great friend, I will miss him as I missed him this year, but fortunately we often talk.”
Speaking to MilanTV, the Rossoneri captain, who joined Milan last summer from Juventus, said: “This is a very important point, almost fundamental. We reacted after Wednesday’s final and performed as a team proving that we are brave men. If we keep this intensity, we can grow up as a great team. It’s been a long season and if the head pushes, the legs go accordingly. I don’t think playing so much is a problem and I personally have always done seasons with many games.
“The season? We are closing it in a different gear [compared to the first months of the season]. It’s a pity for the points lost against the small sides, otherwise we’d be talking about another season. But enough looking back, we’re thinking of Fiorentina [18:00 CET kickoff]. It would be important to reach sixth place in order to give a start and an important mark for next season.”