Bonaventura: Milan can still catch Inter in Serie A

Seven points still separate his side and their fourth-placed rivals, but the midfielder thinks the gap can be bridged

Giacomo Bonaventura is confident AC Milan can catch fourth-placed Inter after they made it 10 games unbeaten in all competitions with a 1-0 Serie A win over Sampdoria.

Despite Ricardo Rodriguez’s missed penalty in the seventh minute, Bonaventura’s 13th-minute effort proved enough for seventh-placed Milan to move level on points with Sampdoria in sixth.

Leonardo Bonucci had an effort ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee (VAR) in an eventful victory that sees Milan close to within seven points of Inter in the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot.

The Europa League would perhaps appear to be Milan’s best route back into the Champions League, the Rossoneri going into the return fixture of their round-of-32 tie with Ludogorets holding a 3-0 lead from the first leg.

But Bonaventura believes fourth place is well within their reach in the Serie A table, with rivals Inter struggling in 2018 and his team finding their best form heading into the business end of the season. 

He told Mediaset Premium : “We are happy, we’re doing well and there’s a great atmosphere within the team.

“We must continue like this. It was a good performance this evening, though perhaps we could’ve killed it off earlier. We’re in good shape and the results are coming.

“I’m happy for the goal, but the whole team is moving in sync now. We are a team now with a good mix and you can tell.

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“If we play like this, we can catch Inter in the table, even if we lost a lot of ground early on.”

Milan are headed into a run that will severely test coach Gennaro Gattuso’s credentials, with the second leg against Ludogorets coming Thursday before facing Roma and arch rivals Inter either side of the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final with Lazio.