Calabria highlights where Milan must improve in the Champions League and points at refereeing ‘incidents’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan defender Davide Calabria believes that he and his team-mates have the quality to stay in the Champions League ahead of tomorrow’s game against Porto.

The Rossoneri welcome the Portuguese league leaders to San Siro knowing that they absolutely need a win to stay in the competition having lost their first three games of the group stages so far. It means that they are bottom of the pile and need a minor miracle to make up the four points to second place.

The general feeling is that Stefano Pioli’s men have been unlucky thus far, as they led at half-time in the first game at Anfield against Liverpool but lost 3-2, they were winning and dominating against Atletico Madrid before refereeing decisions ended up making it a 2-1 loss and an abject performance versus Porto in the reverse fixture meant a 1-0 defeat.

Calabria spoke to the media on the eve of the game against Porto and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews.

What will the team face against Porto?

“It is the last chance we have to stay in the Champions League. We have the quality to stay in this competition and we think we can have a great match from the first to the last minute.”

In the league, Milan flies while in the Champions League they have difficulties. Why?

“I think there have been incidents that have led to this. We don’t deserve this ranking but that’s the way it is. There is potential to do well tomorrow. In the league it is thanks to our everyday work and the fact that we believe in our abilities. We will try to prove it again tomorrow ”

What is Milan missing to improve in the Champions League?

“I call the Champions League the competition of details, there have been some against us. This has led us to have this ranking, we are sorry because we deserve more. There is little to say, we have to start tomorrow by doing better than in the last match, I think it was the only wrong step but we’ve had a great group stages. Tomorrow will be very important, we will have to show what we can do.”

Will Milan’s style of play lead to team growth in Europe as well?

“I think it is a proactive and attacking game and this is fundamental in modern football. It is bringing us results and it will also do so in the Champions League.”

After Roma-Milan there have been suggestions that Milan were favoured by the referee. How do you respond?

“There will always be these episodes in football, even the referees can make mistakes. I do not agree that these episodes have benefited Roma because we have shown that we are stronger on the pitch and Roma have said this too.”

What does it mean for you, a player who grew up at Milan, to play in the Champions League at San Siro?

“It means a lot. I worked hard to get here. I hope there will be many fans at the stadium because they are the twelfth man on the pitch and we hope to play a great match to make our fans happy.”

You have grown a lot under Pioli…

“We also gave our best with our backs to the wall. We owe this to the coach and he helped me a lot. The work and understanding of certain concepts was fundamental despite the fact that we struggled a little at the beginning. We had trust that if we all row on the same side, the results will come.”

You always played on the right side. Is it your request or a joint decision?

“I will never ask the coach where to let me play, I think it’s his job and I can help in more roles if needed. Surely, always playing in the same position is a positive thing, you take measures, you gain confidence and work better with your team-mates. It is a positive thing in my opinion.”

READ MORE: Sky pundit draws tactical comparison between Pioli’s system and Guardiola’s Bayern – “Milan play like God”

Tags AC Milan Davide Calabria
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