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AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli urged his side to push themselves beyond their limits to win their first Serie A title since 2011 this season – a feat he insisted seemed impossible at the start of the campaign.

Since their last Scudetto success, seven-time European Cup winners Milan had fallen on hard times, finishing as low as 10th in 2014-15, but Pioli has overseen improvement since taking charge in 2019, steering his side to second place last term.

Milan go into the weekend top of the standings, two points clear of rivals Inter Milan, with Lazio the next team out to stop Pioli’s men going all the way on Sunday.

“At this stage last season, we didn’t know if we would finish in the top four, whereas this time we are challenging for the Scudetto,” Pioli told a news conference on Saturday.

“There is tension and emotion, we want to push beyond our limits to take something that at the start of the season seemed impossible. As always, a fiery heart and a cool head are what we need.

“We are fully aware of the journey we are on and it’s the most electrifying, exhilarating and exciting one we could experience. We are motivated and concentrated on tomorrow’s match.”

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Pioli also added that veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is nearing a return from a knee injury that has hampered much of the Swede’s season.

“Zlatan is the shining light of this team,” Piolo added. “His willpower is incredible, he is doing everything to be help the team and be at their disposal.

“It’s true we have not scored as much as we could have done in his absence, especially considering the chances we have created.”

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