Milan face backlash as Rossoneri rocked again
Irate AC Milan fans bombarded social media to mock the club and vent their anger after a humiliating 3-3 draw with minnows Frosinone left the Serie A giants' Europa League hopes hanging by a thread.
At a deserted San Siro, Mario Balotelli missed a penalty as Cristian Brocchi's hosts were forced to fight back from 3-1 down before levelling at the death thanks to Jeremy Menez's 92nd minute spot-kick.
With Sassuolo winning 1-0 at home to Verona, Milan dropped one place to seventh, two places and six points behind behind fifth-placed Fiorentina and a certain Europa League place.
Milan's other path to qualification lies in beating Juventus in the Italian Cup final on May 28.
If holders Juve triumph, the Europa spot will go to Serie A's sixth-place finisher -- and Milan are now a point behind Sassuolo ahead of a trip to Bologna and then host Roma in their league finale.
Sassuolo are away at Frosinone before hosting Inter Milan in a fortnight.
A spectacular fall from grace which began several seasons ago has shown no signs of abating this season, and this latest setback had fans calling for the return of popular Serbian Sinisa Mihajlovic who was sacked three weeks ago.
"Compliments to #Milan for sacking the only coach to have more or less put some order into the side ! The club is falling apart !" said one Twitter user, @DoctorZy.
Another, @crisalide1984, took umbrage with Brocchi's "inappropriate" post-match demeanour: "Stop Private Brocchi... Hearing an AC Milan coach sounding happy and laughing about a draw like that is totally inappropriate."
Despite beginning his appointment with a 1-0 win at Sampdoria, Brocchi's Milan have claimed only two points from a possible nine since.
It comes amid reports owner Silvio Berlusconi is set to sell a majority stake to a Chinese consortium, and a stakeholders' backlash on Thursday following the club's announcement of 89m euros in losses for 2015.
Milan fans showed their overall indifference by staying at home on Sunday, but the Rossoneri's close encounter with a club that was still in Serie C, Italy's third division, two seasons ago was too much for some.
One fan, @ChristianoChiesi, mocked Brocchi's post-match claim that he had seen "a couple of positive things" from the match. The Twitter user replied: "Maybe a pair of breasts appeared on his smartphone".
With a play on the Italian word for 'race' (corsa), he added: "If you have to be gifted a last-minute penalty to draw at home to Frosinone, you're not in a race for Europa (Corsa per Europa), you're in an Opel Corsa."
Another, @gualtieromarana, said: "If the league were to keep going, Milan would be relegated."
As former Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri -- sacked in January 2014 following a shock 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo -- soaked up the title celebrations in Turin with his recently-crowned champions Juventus, Milan sit at a major crossroads.
Corriere dello Sport newspaper said last week an agreement between Berlusconi and a consortium of tycoons from China would be signed at a secret location on Monday.
The report said Berlusconi would sell 70% of the club and the remaining 30% would be sold off within a year.
At a shareholders assembly last week, club CEO Adriano Galliani and Berlusconi came under attack from Giuseppe Gatti, the president of the club's minority shareholders' association, the APA.
"The situation is getting worse, worse than we could imagine. I never imagined it would get this far," he said, underlining the club's failures to improve results despite appointing a series of coaches in recent seasons.
"We can’t say that it’s the fault of (Clarence) Seedorf, (Filippo) Inzaghi or (Sinisa) Mihajlovic. The responsibility lies with management: Galliani and Berlusconi."
He added, pointing the finger at Galliani: "I'm waiting for you to resign and for Berlusconi to return to being the honorary President. There needs to be a generational change at Milan."
© 2016 AFP