Berlusconi 'blasts Milan coach' for title failure

ROME: AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has blamed coach Carlo Ancelotti for the club's failure to win the Serie A title this season.

Milan can still mathematically finish top of the pile but with city rivals Inter Milan needing only one more victory from their final three matches to claim a fourth straight scudetto, Milan have given up the ghost.

Speaking from the Egyptian holiday resort of Sharm El Sheikh, where he was on official business, Berlusconi launched an astonishing attack on his coach, which was reported in La Reppublica newspaper.

"If this year we have not won the scudetto, the fault lies entirely with Ancelotti," he said.

"With the players that we have at Milan we could easily have been above Inter.

"Many times this year we have got our tactics wrong. We have many players who are good dribblers, they're great dribblers and we should have used that but instead we did the opposite.

"Too many times we conceded a goal at the end of the match."

Berlusconi's comments will only heighten the expectation in Italy that Ancelotti will be leaving for either Real Madrid or Chelsea at the end of the season, despite still having a year to run on his Milan contract.

Club vice-president Adriano Galliani said he would not comment on Berlusconi's comments, adding fuel to the fire.

"As a rule I never comment on what the president says and on top of that this morning I started by reading other newspapers," he said.

Milan's hopes of winning a first title since 2004 had all but ended by early April when they fell 14 points behind Inter.

Although they have since reduced the gap to seven points, the home draw with Juventus last weekend prevented them from closing the distance to just five points.

With three matches to play, Milan's only aim now is to claim the one more victory that would ensure a top three finish and direct entry into the Champions League group stages next season.