Published: 11:14, May 12, 2024
Milan back to winning ways with 5-1 thrashing of Cagliari
By Reuters
AC Milan's Christian Pulisic (right) scores his side's second goal during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Cagliari at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy, May 11, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

AC Milan snapped a six-match winless run in all competitions with a crushing 5-1 Serie A victory over relegation-threatened Cagliari on Saturday.

The win moves Stefano Pioli's side closer to securing second place. They have 74 points and are seven ahead of third-placed Bologna, who beat Napoli earlier in the day, and eight clear of Juventus, who host Salernitana on Sunday.

"It was very important to return to winning ways, we were not used to being so long without victories. We suffered this situation, well done to the guys for their determination," coach Pioli told Sky Sport.

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"No team has managed to maintain the level of Inter and we were not able to have continuity to stick with them. Ours is a strong team, but one that failed to overcome decisive moments at a certain time during the season."

Ismael Bennacer opened the scoring after 35 minutes, pouncing on a loose ball in the center of the box before Christian Pulisic extended their advantage after a fast break in the 59th minute.

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Nahitan Nandez pulled a goal back in the 63rd for Cagliari, but Tijjani Reijnders scored Milan's third with a superb long-range effort in the 74th.

Rafael Leao got on the scoresheet seven minutes from time before Pulisic sealed the rout three minutes later with his second of the night and 12th league goal this season.

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Cagliari remain in 15th place with 33 points, three points above the relegation zone.

"It hurts to have conceded five goals, in the first half we did well defensively, but we were timid," Cagliari coach Claudio Ranieri said.

"Coming here to San Siro against an angry Milan side after the last results was difficult ... the last two matches will determine whether it will be salvation or relegation. Now we cancel everything and think about the next ones."