Kessie Sampdoria Milan Serie AGetty

Kessie reveals AC Milan's target after extending Serie A lead

Franck Kessie has revealed AC Milan’s target is to qualify for the Uefa Champions League this season after they defeated Sampdoria 2-1 in a Serie A match on Sunday.

The Ivory Coast midfielder opened the scoring for the Rossoneri on the stroke of half-time with his effort from the penalty spot.

Sunday’s goal was Kessie’s fourth league goal of the season after 10 games, equalling the goal record he managed in the entire 2019-20 Serie A season in 35 matches.

Article continues below

Samu Castillejo later sealed the victory for the visitors in the 77th minute as Albin Ekdal's effort failed to inspire Sampdoria's comeback.

The victory stretched AC Milan's dominance at the summit of the Serie A table to 26 points from 10 matches with a five-point lead above second-placed Inter Milan.

However, Kessie disclosed Milan's ambition is to return to the elite European tournament in which they last featured in the 2013-14 season.

“We have an amazing group, we knew the game would be tough but we fought until the end," the 23-year-old told Sky Italia via Milan Live.

“It’s not easy to play without two experienced players like them [Simon Kjaer and Zlatan Ibrahimovic], but we did what the coach told us to take the three points home.

“Our target is to qualify for the Champions League. We can’t lose our heads and continue like this, the dream is to get a Champions League placement.”

AC Milan were knockout of the Champions League in 2014 by Atletico Madrid following a 5-1 aggregate loss in the Round of 16.

They returned to the Uefa Europa League this season after they were banned last season for breaching Uefa Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Stefano Pioli's side have already advanced to the last-32 stage of the Europa League but they will aim to finish their Group H campaign on a high on when they travel to Czech Republic to battle Sparta Prague on Thursday.