Thu | Oct 6, 2022

Milan secure first Serie A title in 11 years

Published:Monday | May 23, 2022 | 12:06 AM
AC Milan’s players, including Olivier Giroud (centre), celebrate after winning the Serie A title yesterday.  It is AC Milan’s first Serie A title in 11 years.
AC Milan’s players, including Olivier Giroud (centre), celebrate after winning the Serie A title yesterday. It is AC Milan’s first Serie A title in 11 years.

MILAN (AP):

The city of Milan was swarming with a sea of celebrating red-and-black fans as AC Milan secured their first Serie A title in 11 years yesterday with a 3-0 win at Sassuolo.

Thousands of fans had started gathering in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, in front of the iconic cathedral, even before the Rossoneri clinched their 19th scudetto.

And it was the man who thrives in the big occasions who helped Milan do it, as veteran forward Olivier Giroud scored twice to set his side on the way to the win.

Rafael Leão set up all three first-half goals. The 22-year-old Leão was presented with the Serie A Player of the Season award after the match.

“I’m a different player now, with more maturity, with more confidence, and with the responsibility of making the difference,” Leão said. “That’s what I did today, what was important was to win the scudetto.”

The result meant Milan finished two points ahead of defending champions – and city rivals – Inter Milan, who won 3-0 at home to Sampdoria.

The festivities were mirrored at Sassuolo, where there was a joyous pitch invasion at the final whistle, delaying the trophy ceremony.

Milan Director Paolo Maldini – who helped the Rossoneri to seven Serie A titles as a player – watched on, beaming as the players came out for the presentation. Zlatan Ibrahimović walked out puffing on a cigar.

The season-long duel between Milan and Inter for the Italian league came down to the final day and the Rossoneri only needed one point to clinch their first scudetto since the 2010-11 season. They had a two-point lead over Inter and a better head-to-head record, which is the tiebreaker.

Giroud has a long history of scoring at critical moments. His crucial goals late in the 2019-20 season helped Chelsea qualify for last season’s Champions League, and his six goals in the competition helped the London club win it.

The 35-year-old Giroud has also scored in important matches this season for Milan, including against Inter and Napoli.