After reaching the UEFA Champions League semifinals for only the second time since 2000, AC Milan have returned home looking to expand on fourth place. Their match against U.S. Lecce will kick-off at 17:00 (GMT+1) on Sunday 23 April at San Siro Stadium.
AC Milan Reach UCL Semifinals for First Time Since 2006-07 with 1-1 Draw Against Napoli
Rossoneri made history on Tuesday night when they reached the UEFA Champions League semifinals for the first time since 2006-07. With an incredible 1-1 draw [2-1 aggregate win] against Napoli on the road, Rossoneri secured their passage into this year’s competition for good. Olivier Giroud [43′] narrowly missed a decisive penalty before scoring Milan the lead after Rafael Leao made an incredible solo run from deep inside Milan’s half. Napoli were awarded a penalty kick, but “Magic Mike Maignan” saved Kvaratskhelia’s effort from the spot. Osimhen scored for Napoli late on with an exquisite header, giving Stefano Pioli’s team hope of qualifying well – something they were successful in doing after this matchup. “Our desire was for an outstanding qualification,” Pioli declared afterward. “Having a 1-0 lead in the first leg helped and hindered us at once,” said Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri after leading his team into their first UCL semifinal since 1996. Now all focus is set on Sunday’s clash against Lecce in Serie A; Milan are trying to maintain fourth spot. At home against fifth-placed Inter, they’ll be keen to grab another victory and secure their precious league position by winning here and further increasing their cushion. Inter lags by just two points. Milan [DLWDD] have earned 53 points through 15 wins, 8 draws, and 7 losses; although they’ve drawn two of their last three Serie A meetings against Lecce [1W, 2D, 0L], Milan can extend their eight-game unbeaten run against Lecce (5W, 3D, 0L). Milan are expected to make some subtle modifications following their triumphant return from European play, though less dramatic alterations should take place than previously seen under Pioli (who made 10 changes last time out). Pioli could replace Olivier Giroud with Divock Origi in his 4–2–3-1 system after Giroud left Napoli following an injury at 68 minutes on Tuesday evening due to suspension while Simon Kjaer and Tomori are likely to receive rest after strong defensive displays against Azzurri on Tuesday night.
Lecce Breaks Six-Loss Streak, Earns 1-1 Draw with Sampdoria
Lecce earned a 1-1 draw with Sampdoria last weekend to break their run of six losses in a row (LLLLD), remaining 16th with 28 points after 6W, 10D & 14L games and remain in 16th position after 28 matches (6W, 10D & 14L). They remain 16th after their last victory came on February 19 against Atalanta with Assan Ceesay maintaining his spot as leader of their preferred 4–1–4–1 formation; Kastriot Dermaku [ankle injury] remains doubtful alongside Marin Pongracic [ankle injury] due to an ankle injury sustained from playing against Atalanta two weeks prior.