Mario Balotelli bagged a pair of goals as AC Milan thumped bottom club Pescara 4-0 on Wednesday, moving a step closer to confirming a UEFA Champions League place for next season.
The Italy striker opened the scoring from the spot and then rounded off the rout just before the hour-mark, to take his total haul this season to 11 goals in 11 games since moving from Manchester City
Milan is third in the Serie A standings, four points ahead of Fiorentina, which beat relegation-threatened Siena, 1-0, on Wednesday. Elsewhere, second-place Napoli confirmed its UCL place next season with a 3-0 win against Bologna.
"There are two games left after today's win and we have to manage our advantage,'' Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "We need three points, we have a good chance, but anything can happen in football so we need to remain focused to reach our goal.''
Interestingly, Milan’s next match is at home to Michael Bradley’s AS Roma, which is also looking to secure a spot in the UEFA Europa League next season. Allegri has been strongly linked with a move there next season, but refused to comment on the speculation, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport that his future would be revealed in ten days.