AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri hailed his side’s performance as they beat title rivals Napoli 3-0 at the San Siro on Monday.
Allegri, whose side now leads the Serie A by five points from city rivals Inter, was particularly impressed with the determination and workrate of his players.
The result keeps Napoli in third place on the table, with the gap between the two sides now six points.
“We definitely played a great match tonight, with great determination,” Allegri said.
“I really liked my players’ attitude, in particular after going 1-0 up. They continued to play well trying to score again.”
“(I liked) the determination with which they played, the way we played our football and the willingness the players showed to sacrifice everything even when we didn’t have the ball.”
“I think we were the best team – in the second half we played very well. Not only did several players do very well, but as team we played very well and that’s the most important thing. If we play like a team we can beat everybody.”
Rumours of a falling out between star strikers Alexandre Pato and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who combined to set up Kevin Prince-Boateng for the game’s second goal – were hosed down by Allegri after the game.
“No, (there is) absolutely nothing wrong,” he said.
“They both played well tonight, together with Robinho in the first half and with Boateng in the second half.”
Boateng’s goal came in between Ibrahimovic’s 49th-minute penalty and Pato’s sealer in the 80th minute, with January signing Mark van Bommel going close to joining them on the scoresheet on several occasions.
The former Bayern Munich midfielder is still searching for his maiden strike for his new club, but the 33-year-old was still delighted to have extended their lead over Napoli on the Serie A table.
“Yeah of course but someone has to score and it’s not my first job to score, but if I get opportunities then I should score,” van Bommel said.
“My first chance was a big one and my second one I was a little bit unlucky with my shot.”
“It’s very important because they were second in the league – now it’s 6 points and we have to win because if we lose points Inter are coming close to us and now we have it a little bit easier until next Saturday.”
Milan have little time to relax, with a clash with Juventus on Saturday ahead of next Wednesday’s trip to London in a bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit to Tottenham in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Allegri’s men could perhaps be forgiven for already turning their attentions to the game at White Hart Lane, but the manager is adamant his side will not be getting ahead of itself.
“We have a match against Juventus before that, on Saturday,” Allegri said.
“Let’s think about that game first and then we’ll see about Tottenham.”