AC Milan struggle to worst Serie A start in 81 years

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Krzysztof Piątek
The Rossoneri have had a horrific start to their league campaign, leaving their coach under significant pressure

AC Milan head coach Marco Giampaolo is under significant pressure after his side lost their fourth game in six Serie A matches this season - marking their worst start to a campaign in 81 years.

The last time a Rossoneri side lost four of their first six games of a Serie A season was in 1938-39, and the only previous occasion it occurred was in 1930-31.

Anything other than a victory at Genoa on Saturday could prompt the club's directors to call time on Giampaolo's tenure after just seven league games in charge, with the club 16th in the table as they head to Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris.

Giampaolo replaced Gennaro Gattuso as head coach at San Siro after the club finished fifth in Serie A in 2018-19, narrowly missing out on a place in this season's Champions League.

Milan started the season with a 1-0 loss to Udinese before recovering to win their next two matches against Brescia and Hellas Verona by the same margin.

However, they have lost their last three games, with defeats to city rivals Inter and Torino before Sunday's 3-1 loss against Fiorentina.

Milan trailed at the break to the Viola after Erick Pulgar's penalty and their fight-back was made more difficult in the second period after Mateo Musacchio's dismissal for a poor challenge on Franck Ribery just after half-time.

Gaetano Castrovilli scored a first Serie A goal to ensure the game was up for Milan and possibly Giampaolo, while a saved Federico Chiesa penalty preceded a deserved goal for Ribery.

Rafael Leao nabbed a late consolation goal for Milan, but by then the match was all but over.

Giampaolo admitted the pressure was clearly affecting his team but insisted he still had faith in his coaching.

"I take responsibility, of course, but I go forward because I believe in my ideas," he told Sky Sport Italia in quotes translated by Football Italia. 

"The thing that annoyed me was the team looked like it turned up to San Siro without ever having a training session together. You can lose, but not like that.

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"Up until three days ago, I liked the performance and saw good responses against Torino [in a 2-1 defeat]. 

"Tonight, the pressure got to them, they felt the absolute need to win and I told them to play with all the right ingredients to win, not waiting for events to happen. We had to create the events ourselves.

"Instead, the pressure weighed on us, we were tense, not reacting quickly enough and evidently feeling the pressure."