Massimiliano Allegri praised his table-topping Milan players for their reaction to the midweek UEFA Champions League defeat to Ajax as they romped to a 3-0 win at Bologna.
Having put in a lethargic performance in the 2-0 home loss on Wednesday, Milan were quickly back to their best as they won by three goals for the second weekend in a row. And just as they did against Brescia, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the goals to sink Bologna.
"The defeat to Ajax did us some good. The team reacted straight away and that was very important given there were just two matches left to the end of the year," said AC Milan coach Allegri. "We've played this one and now we wait for the last one against Roma, which will be very difficult."
Allegri lined up Boateng in the hole between midfield and attack and played Andrea Pirlo slightly more advanced than his midfield colleagues Massimo Ambrosini and Gennaro Gattuso. And Allegri was pleased with the way that worked out.
"Right now Andrea guarantees you more quality when he's 20 metres further forward while in front of the defence Ambrosini gives you better coverage. (Pirlo) did very well, he's growing in confidence in this new and old role that he already played when he was younger.
"Boateng times his runs forward well and he's doing well, as is the whole team. I'm happy with what the whole team is doing, we started the match in the best possible way."
Allegri also paid tribute to Sweden forward Ibrahimovic whom opposite number Alberto Malesani described as the difference between the teams. "It was truly difficult to play against him (on Sunday), you always expect great things from him," said Allegri.
Ibra the difference
Malesani went further: "Ibrahimovic made the difference, otherwise I don't think we played badly. It's no coincidence that wherever he (Ibrahimovic) plays they win the title. He's untouchable, unmarkable and with Robinho they're the best attacking partnership in Serie A. Hat's off to Milan, they're the best team we've faced this year."
Ibrahimovic has won the title where he's played in each of the last seven years, although two of those with Juventus were subsequently rescinded. He won his second Dutch title with Ajax in 2004 - the first being two years earlier - and then following the two with Juve he won three Scudetto crowns in a row with Inter and the Spanish La Liga with Barcelona last season.
And although the 29-year-old doesn't want to talk about the title just yet, he says the team are aiming to win silverware this season. "Everything's possible, we're in the running for all the trophies (league, cup and Champions League), we have to keep going, don't relax, there's still lots of games left so we'll talk about the title another time."