Football: Milan coach Vincenzo Montella on borrowed time; Napoli's Faouzi Ghoulam ruptures cruciate ligament

AC Milan's coach Vincenzo Montella looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group D football match between AEK Athens and AC Milan at the OAKA stadium in Athens on Nov 2, 2017.
AC Milan's coach Vincenzo Montella looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group D football match between AEK Athens and AC Milan at the OAKA stadium in Athens on Nov 2, 2017.PHOTO: AFP
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action with Napoli's Faouzi Ghoulam. The Algerian limped off after half an hour of the match.
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action with Napoli's Faouzi Ghoulam. The Algerian limped off after half an hour of the match. PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN (REUTERS) - AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella said he felt like he was watching his own funeral after his side drew 0-0 with AEK Athens in the Europa League for the second time in two weeks.

Despite spending more than €200 million (S$317.1 million) on new signings in the close season, Milan have won only one of their last seven games in all competitions.

They have dropped to eighth in Serie A, though they still top their Europa League group after Thursday's (Nov 2) result.

Milan's poor form means Montella has to live with speculation about his future every time they fail to win.

"I've been watching my own funeral for a while now," said Montella while still managing to keep a smile on his face.

"It gives you a new perspective on things. Having said that, I know that the club have faith in me, so we will see.

"We know that our men can do more, they are young talents with a great future lying ahead of them," added Montella, who is in his second season at the club.

"For those who came from foreign leagues, it's not easy to adapt to the Italian style of football.

"A few weeks ago, we created more chances, but allowed more in defence," he added.

"Now we don't create as much, but also barely allow any chances for our opponents."

Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam is facing a long layoff after the club confirmed on Thursday that he had suffered a serious knee injury.

Ghoulam, regarded by the club as one of the best players in Europe in his position and ever-present in the Italian league this season, limped off after half an hour of Wednesday's (Nov 1) Champions League match at home to Manchester City.

Napoli confirmed in a statement that the Algeria international had sustained a "total rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee" and would undergo surgery on Friday (Nov 3).

Napoli lead Serie A, having dropped only two points from their first 11 games, but Ghoulam's injury is a serious blow to their title chances as their squad is regarded as lacking strength in depth.

He has scored twice this season, his first goals for the club since joining from French Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne in 2014.

Algeria have failed to qualify for next year's World Cup.