Gennaro Gattuso has insisted Champions League qualification is Milan's main aim after his side secured a hard-fought 2-1 win over SPAL at the San Siro.
Milan were the better of the two sides in the contest, but it was SPAL who took a shock lead after Andrea Petagna's deflected strike found the bottom corner of Gianluigi Donnarumma's goal. The San Siro went silent, however it didn't take long for Milan to respond.
Just three minutes later, summer signing Samu Castillejo latched on to a loose pass before unleashing a stinging left-footed shot from 12 yards out which flew into the top corner to get Milan back on level terms.
Milan came out for the second half firing in search of a winning goal, and went ahead thanks to Gonzalo Higuaín's close range effort, his first goal in almost two months for the club. The home side were able to see the rest of the game out despite going down to 10 men after Suso's red card in the final minutes of the game, and ended their five match winless streak with a 2-1 win.
Speaking to the press after the game (via Forza Italian Football) Gattuso admitted that whilst it was a tough December for his team, their aim is still a top four finish. He said: “December was very difficult for us, we have had a lot of problems and never had that fortune available to us. Our objective is to get into the Champions League [places] in the spring.”
Higuaín also ended his goal drought which stretched over eight games after bagging just his sixth goal in Serie A this season, and Gattuso admitted he hopes the striker can score many more in the games to come. He added: “When you are used to scoring. It’s difficult to change that habit. He is always brilliant in front of goal.
“After the Juve game in which he had a bad night, everything became more difficult. He reacted badly, but now after not scoring for 60 days, he has hopefully unlocked something.”
The win saw Milan climb up to fifth in the table and they are now just one point behind Lazio who occupy fourth spot in the league.