It may not have been the result that he wanted, but Milan boss Stefano Pioli got the performance he was asking for during the cup exit to Inter.
As La Gazzetta dello Sport reports (via MilanNews), the defeat against Atalanta was damaging more for the performance than for the result, so all eyes were on his team and how they would react in the Coppa Italia derby against Inter. Pioli was looking for answers and he got them: “We were coming from a bad performance and we were looking for answers. The match was there.”
Pioli did not hide his disappointment at going out however: “We are sorry to have gone out because it is a competition we were keen on, but the match said we can keep test against a strong opponent like Inter.”
Despite this, it must be remembered that Milan were winning 1-0 until the referee Paolo Valeri made the inexplicable decision to send Zlatan Ibrahimovic off.
“The numerical inferiority complicated the situation, in ten it was all much more difficult. We were naive in the penalty foul, in a complicated game I still had important signs from the team. this positive defeat and confident for the future. There was no lack of generosity, I saw the intensity that was lacking with Atalanta,” Pioli added.
The decisive moment of last night’s match, according to Pioli, was certainly the sending off of the Swede: “Everything changed with the numerical inferiority. In eleven against eleven it was a game open to all results.”
The Milan boss is not downcast and is already looking to the future: “The knockout will push us to do more: we lose the Coppa Italia which was our goal but we are focused on other competitions which are even more important.”