AC Milan superstar Gianluigi Donnarumma believes that the upcoming Milan Derby could prove decisive in the race for Champions League football.
The Rossoneri are currently eight points behind their city rivals Inter in the league table, with fellow Champions League chasers Lazio also sitting outside the top four.
But Donnarumma is confident that a place in Europe’s elite competition next season is still up for grabs and the goalkeeping wonderkid is eyeing success in the Derby della Madonnina, which was rescheduled after the sudden passing of Davide Astori, to spark a late-season push despite Saturday’s disappointment of losing to Juventus.
“We are disappointed with that result, but we fought Juve on level terms until the final minutes,” Donnarumma told Milan TV (via Football Italia).
“We take home a great performance, but not a result, despite the many scoring opportunities. They won it on a physical level, not a technical one, punishing us in a situation where we should’ve done better.
“Now we look forward to what is effectively a Champions League playoff with Inter. I hope there is a great deal of enthusiasm at San Siro. We’ll give our all and need our fans to win the game.”
Milan could have closed the gap on their rivals by causing an upset in Turin. Paulo Dybala’s early goal was cancelled out by former Juventus stalwart Leonardo Bonucci but second half stri from Juan Cuadrado and Sami Khedira ensured all three points went to the Bianconeri.