Pirlo: AC Milan are not in crisis but the title is in Juve's hands now

The Rossoneri are reeling after their Champions League exit in Barcelona and Saturday's shock loss to Palermo, but the veteran playmaker is refusing to write off his old side
Andrea Pirlo remains wary of the threat posed by AC Milan to Juventus' Scudetto dream, insisting that the Rossoneri are not in crisis, while admitting that the Bianconeri now hold their destiny in their own hands.

Antonio Conte's men moved to the summit of Serie A on Saturday after capitalising on their title rivals' shock loss at home to Fiorentina by triumphing 2-0 in Palermo.

Pirlo is refusing to write off his former club but is delighted that Juve are now in a position where they only have to concern themselves with their own results.

“Being back on top of everyone else is great fun,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia. "We hadn’t been the leaders for a while, but were always aware we could do well.

"Now we are up there, we must continue to think big and take it one game at a time. Our chances are 50-50, as it takes the slightest slip-up and it all changes.

“In all honesty, we did not expect Milan to lose against Fiorentina, especially as they had gone in front and we didn’t think the result would be turned around like that. They did us this favour and we took advantage.

“I must admit that stepping on to the field against Palermo with the knowledge Milan had already lost fired us up even more.

“However, I don’t believe Milan are in crisis. It’s only normal to feel a little tired after the Champions League.

"We have to focus only on ourselves, as we are top and seven finals await us."

Pirlo then turned his attention to the crunch clash on Wednesday night against third-placed Lazio in Turin.

"We must concentrate fully on beating Lazio, who are only the first hurdle," the Italy international declared.

“It is not the toughest obstacle from here to the end of the season, but it is the first on the road to our dream.

"They are a great side and already proved it last season, but we cannot afford to slow down now.”

Juve's meeting with the Biancocelesti gets underway at 20.45CET.