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AC Milan vs Lazio 3-1 as at happened?

AC Milan will be aiming to reduce the sizable gap to league leaders Napoli with a positive result against Lazio on Tuesday.

The hosts, meanwhile, would move one point behind their opponents in Serie A’s table by beating them at Stadio Olimpico.

Having finished fifth in Mauricio Sarri’s first season at the club, Lazio will be hoping to go at least one better this time around and qualify for the Champions League as a result.

Their hopes of achieving that were handed a major boost by Juventus being docked 15 points due to financial irregularities, with I Biancocelesti jumping up to fourth place as a result without them even having to kick a ball in anger last week.

Sarri’s side booked a quarter-final tie against Juve next month by beating Bologna 1-0 in the Coppa Italia last time out, with Felipe Anderson’s 33rd-minute strike enough to earn his side a marginal victory on Thursday.

The former Napoli boss will be more than aware that he is likely to require a better collective performance from his players if they are to beat Milan on Tuesday, having lost all three of their meetings against the reigning champions last season.

However, Lazio are now clearly at a later stage of their development under their possession-focused manager, while their forthcoming opponents appear to be playing at a slightly lower level than they were throughout last season.

That said, only the relentless form of Napoli and a few frustrating draws are stopping from Milan being firmly in the mix for securing another title once again.

While their hopes of retaining Serie A are far from over yet, Sarri’s former side moved 12 points clear of their nearest rivals by beating Salernitana 2-0 at the weekend, which will surely prove an extremely tough deficit to overturn from the halfway stage of the season.

All Stefano Pioli and his players can do is focus on themselves, though, although a winless run of four games in all competitions is hardly likely to inspire confidence ahead of their trip to the capital in midweek.

Indeed, I Rossoneri were recently knocked out of the Coppa Italia at home to Torino before losing 3-0 to their city rivals Inter Milan in Italy’s Super Cup last week, with two consecutive 2-2 draws against Roma and Lecce in Serie A seeing them lose further ground on Napoli.

With a double-header against Tottenham Hotspur in the club’s first Champions League knockout tie for nine years to look forward to next month, Pioli will have his eyes set on advancing through that while consolidating their place in the top four before looking to hunt down Luciano Spalletti’s high-fliers across the coming months.

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