Soccer-Milan seek redemption by stalling Inter's title celebrations, Pioli says

Soccer Football - Europa League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - AS Roma v AC Milan - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - April 18, 2024 AC Milan's Theo Hernandez with teammates look dejected after the match REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo/File Photo

(Reuters) - AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli is determined to hold up city rivals Inter Milan's Serie A title celebrations when the sides meet on Monday and said the match offers his side an opportunity for redemption after a lacklustre season.

Inter, who top the table by 14 points from Milan in second with six matches remaining, would clinch their 20th Scudetto with a win at the San Siro, where Milan will be the hosts.

Milan have endured a disappointing recent run, with their last realistic hope of clinching a trophy this season dashed when AS Roma knocked them out in the Europa League quarter-finals last week with a 3-1 aggregate victory.

"We can use all the terms we want: pride, responsibility and belonging. For the league table, for Thursday's elimination, for Inter's Scudetto, it's an opportunity for redemption, for pride," Pioli told reporters on Sunday.

"I have a lot of faith in my players, they know how important the game is."

Should Inter wrap up the title on Monday, they will move past Milan's tally of 19 Serie A crowns and recent history is not in Milan's favour as Inter have won the last five derbies in all competitions.

"We will need the best Milan possible. There are those who think that we have never changed in the derbies, but tomorrow we have to do everything we can so that they don’t win," Pioli said.

"We will need to play an exceptional game, we come off the back of five consecutive defeats against them and they have always given us problems."

Despite speculation in Italian media that Pioli's job may be on the line, the 58-year-old believes he has more to give to Milan.

"I want to give everything as I have done since my first day, I have been given a lot and I still feel like I have a lot to give to this team," he said.

"Work is the only verb I know, we will try to win every game from now until the end and then we will see."

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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