AC Milan director Paolo Maldini admits they were relieved to defeat Fiorentina.
Milan won 2-1 thanks to an own goal in injury time.
“A draw would’ve changed the mood going into two months of the break, but we held on somehow with a spirit of sacrifice, without playing frankly that well, but we wanted to win and we did,” Maldini told DAZN.
“Napoli have done some incredibly things with 11 wins in a row, so they deserve credit for that. We are more or less where we were last season, except we are also in the Champions League Round of 16 and have a different mentality. That allows us to keep the enthusiasm going even when the performances aren’t very good.
“It was a very open game and anything could’ve happened, but a draw for us would’ve been like half a defeat, so that gave us the strength to push harder and at times go beyond logic or style to get the job done.
“Of course we believe in ourselves. Last season, when we played the derby, we were seven points off Inter. We know it’s not easy to keep this pace going to the end, so we have to stay in there and see what happens.
“At this moment, we are running on empty to a degree, it’s not something I saw at the start of the season. Hopefully we can get players back after the break, as for example Zlatan Ibrahimovic should return in January.”