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After Arsenal loss, AC Milan attempts to regroup

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ROME (AP) -Zlatan Ibrahimovic is raging with anger following AC Milan's 3-0 loss to Arsenal in the Champions League - and club vice president Adriano Galliani says that's a good thing.

Having won the opening leg 4-0, Milan still advanced despite its poor performance in London on Tuesday but Ibrahimovic ranted with disgust to Swedish media after the match.

"If you play for a big club like Milan, this can't happen," Ibrahimovic said. "It's OK to lose in a certain manner, but the way we lost this match is unacceptable. We're Milan and we've got to be stronger and more stable."

Ibrahimovic also lamented that manager Massimiliano Allegri lined him up out of position when Milan played with three strikers.

Last weekend, Ibrahimovic marked his return from a three-match Italian league ban by scoring a hat trick in a 4-0 win at Palermo, and he is tied with Udinese's Antonio Di Natale for the Serie A scoring lead with 18 goals each.

While another Italian league title would surely be nice, it's the Champions League that Ibrahimovic really wants. The Sweden international has won seven domestic league titles with the likes of Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Milan - plus another two that were revoked with Juventus - but he's never won Europe's biggest club tournament.

"The more mad Ibrahimovic is, the better things go," Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said as the squad prepares for a match with lowly Lecce on Sunday.

Also for Milan, midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has been cleared to play again after missing six months due to myasthenia, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that affected his left eye.

Meanwhile, Juventus will be without its three top center backs for a visit to Genoa.

Leonardo Bonucci picked up a second yellow card late in a disappointing 1-1 draw with Bologna on Wednesday, while Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli are each out injured.

After a series of matches postponed due to snow, Milan and Juve have now played the same number of games and defending champion Milan holds a two-point lead with 12 rounds remaining.

Juventus remains the only undefeated club in the Italian league, but it also has the most draws - 13 - and has won just one of its last six matches. The absences in defense may not be easy to overcome against a Genoa squad featuring a potent strike duo of Rodrigo Palacio and Alberto Gilardino, who is expected back from injury.

Genoa has already beaten Napoli, Lazio and Udinese this season.

"We'll see what solutions we can find," Juventus' first-year coach Antonio Conte said. "(Arturo) Vidal is an alternative, but we're not hanging our heads down."

Conte was sent off for protests in the second half against Bologna.

"There was a general protest from the bench and I was surprised, but these are things that happen in football," Conte said.

The weekend's action opens with surging Napoli hosting Cagliari and struggling Inter at Chievo Verona on Friday night, giving Napoli and Inter an extra day's rest before Champions League matches next week against Chelsea and Marseille, respectively.

Also this weekend, Attilio Tesser marks his return as the coach of last-place Novara, which fired Emiliano Mondonico on Tuesday after just 36 days in charge.

Before being fired in late January, Tesser had led Novara up from the third division to Serie A with two successive promotions. His first game back in charge will come against fourth-place Udinese, which was playing at Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday.

Tesser's return marks the 14th coaching change in Serie A since the preseason.

Also this weekend, it's: Palermo vs. Roma; Atalanta vs. Parma; Catania vs. Fiorentina; Cesena vs. Siena; and Lazio vs. Bologna.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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