Vincenzo Montella urged AC Milan to treat Inter like any other side in next weekend’s derby after they cruised to a 4-0 win over Palermo.
The victory moved Milan into sixth place in Serie A above Inter, who slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Crotone, but Montella insisted the focus for his team is European qualification and not local bragging rights.
A 1-1 draw against bottom club Pescara in their previous match left Milan in need of a win to avoid falling behind in the race for Europa League qualification, and Montella’s men responded with an exuberant performance.
When asked about their chances of finishing in the top five, Montella told Premium Sport: “I was optimistic before the last two games, so now I am even more confident.
“I am convinced that we are going in Europe.”
Turning his attention to the derby, he added: “The Nerazzurri are a rival like the others. I want to get to Europe, not in front of Inter.”
First-half goals from Suso, Mario Pasilic and Carlos Bacca put Milan 3-0 up inside the opening 37 minutes at San Siro, and Montella felt his side looked unbeatable.
“I’m really pleased,” he said. “I expected this reaction because we’ve got a team with a strong temperament.
“We had maximum concentration. It would have been difficult for anyone to face us.”
Palermo coach Diego Lopez was in despondent mood after a defeat that left his side stranded in 19th place in Serie A, eight points adrift of safety.
However, when asked whether his team could turn the tide in the final seven games of the season, he told Radio Rai: “Nothing is impossible. We have to believe any signal that gives us hope.
“A victory in the next game can get us back on course.”