AC Milan are now the only team with a perfect record left in all competitions in Europe’s top five leagues. This came after Aston Villa‘s 3-0 loss to Leeds United in the Premier League yesterday. Although the Rossoneri are a team full of history, this is a massive achievement as they have barely been relevant in Serie A and European competitions since 2012. The tide is shifting, and the club may have finally figured it out.
AC Milan: European Top Five Leagues’ Lone Perfect Record
Milan have played a total of eight official matches this season, and all have resulted in victories. There have been four matches in Serie A, three Europa League qualifying matches, and one Europa League group stage match.
The four domestic victories have come against Bologna, Crotone, Spezia, and Inter Milan. Milan were always going to be the favorite in the first three matches. Although this is the case, their past shows a record of disappointing draws and losses against ‘lesser’ competition. Due to a low strength of schedule to start, the Milan Derby was crucial. Milan took a quick 2-0 lead with a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace, and although Romelu Lukaku scored for Inter in the first half, the Rossoneri looked as confident as ever and closed out the match.
Milan also have a goal difference of plus-eight in Serie A, scoring nine and conceding one.
Like Serie A, Milan are four for four in the Europa League. Their three qualifying wins came over Shamrock Rovers, Bodø Glimt, and Rio Ave. They almost lost their perfect record against Rio Ave after a 2-2 draw went to a penalty shoot-out. Rest assured it was extremely stressful for Rossoneri faithful, as they ended up winning 9-8 from the spot.
The rest of October and all of November won’t be easy for Milan. Their last domestic match of this month comes at home to Roma. Although currently sitting at eighth in the table, Roma always put up a fight to qualify for European competition. Although it’d be great for Milan to win Serie A, their main goal this season is to finish in the top four, so these showdowns are crucial.
They then face Sparta Prague and Udinese in a matter of four days. Although both of these matches are winnable, having them in quick succession will be tough.
On November 5, Milan face Lille in the Europa League. Lille present a great match-up as they are currently first in France, ahead of Paris Saint-Germain. Shortly after, Milan play Hellas Verona, which should be a comfortable match.
After Verona, Milan will go two weeks without a match. Although that break should be beneficial, they face a grueling three-game in one week stretch to finish out November versus Napoli, Lille and Fiorentina.
Something to watch for during this time will be the fitness of Hakan Calhanoglu and Ante Rebic. Calhanoglu has recently been dealing with an ankle injury that forced him to miss the Celtic match, and Rebic has been out for nearly a month after dislocating his left elbow against Crotone.