With eight games left in the Serie A season, it has reached a stage where a defeat for any of the three contenders - Inter, Roma and AC Milan - would leave them with a mountain to climb. Milan host lowly Lazio tonight and Filippo Inzaghi , the club's veteran striker, said: "We must win. That's the only path for us. "The race is open, we can cut the gap on Roma or Inter [who met at the Stadio Olimpico last night] but we must absolutely pick up the three points against Lazio who are on form."
The Rossoneri lost 1-0 at home to Parma in midweek when Valeri Bojinov's winner condemned them to defeat after coming off the bench to make a dramatic intervention in what was only the visitors' second away win of the season. The reverse followed the 1-1 draw with Napoli in Milan's previous outing and saw them fall four points behind their neighbours and rivals Inter - before the start of the weekend.
Victory has become essential against a Lazio side with only three away victories all season and who are hovering perilously close to the relegation zone although their midweek win over Siena gave them some breathing space. Lazio eased their relegation worries with the comfortable 2-0 triumph over their fellow strugglers at the Stadio Olimpico. Back-to-back triumphs have lifted the Biancoceleste to 16th in the standings, four points clear of the drop zone with eight games remaining although defender Guglielmo Stendardo insists the team must maintain their form:
Stendardo told Radio Incontro: "From Sunday on they will be all finals for us. We can't look at the other teams, we have to get as many points as possible. "Aside from the absences, Milan are an important formation. We'll have to play with the maximum effort and aggressiveness." * With agencies