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The midfielder was delighted with his side's 5-1 thrashing of Chievo on Saturday, and believes a third-placed finish in Serie A will be possible if they can build on their form

Riccardo Montolivo insists AC Milan are beginning to get into their stride this season, and has called on the team to take their growing confidence into the Champions League clash with Malaga on Tuesday.

The Italy international scored the second goal in Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Chievo at San Siro, extending their unbeaten run in Serie A to three matches, and he believes the Rossoneri's form is continuing to improve.

He told Tuttosport: "My goal came in the right moment. The situation was delicate, they had just scored after our first goal, the match was not easy. Then after the third goal everything went well."

When asked if the weekend's victory was Milan's best performance of the season, he said: "Yes, I think so, along with the derby and the last part of the Palermo match. We are growing, we made seven points in the last three games, and it could have been nine . So we have to be confident for the Champions League."

The 27-year-old was also quick to praise the team's set-up for the match, which saw him partner Massimo Ambrosini at the heart of midfield, and expressed his delight at Giampaolo Pazzini's goal which ended his drought since he netted a hat-trick against Bologna at the start of September.

He continued: "Me alongside Ambrosni in 4-2-3-1? Maybe this is the easiest way to play. We all made a great effort to execute it well on the field, and Pazzini has done a great job on attack, I'm glad that he was able to score."

Milan remain nine points adrift of third-placed Napoli in the table, but Montolivo believes his side can still push for the top three positions if they sustain their good form in the run-up to Christmas.

He added: "Third place? It is still far away, but we must try to get as close as possible before Christmas, then we'll see."

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