Olivier Giroud has insisted that there is no issue between he and Stefano Pioli despite his frustrated reaction to being brought off during last night’s draw against Napoli.
The evening could hardly have been going better for Giroud after he scored a brace of headers to put AC Milan into a commanding 2-0 lead at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, and they should have had more in the first half.
However, in the second half things unravelled as the Rossoneri surrendered their two-goal lead. Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori each got their name on the scoresheet, with the game ending 2-2.
There was an interesting moment in the second half when Giroud – who was on for a hat-trick – was taken off by Pioli for Luka Jovic, while Rafael Leao was also brought off for Noah Okafor. Both showed an unhappy reaction.
Giroud spoke to Sky and Rai Sport after the match to reflect on the game and explain his reaction to coming off, with MilanNews relaying his comments.
“On a personal level, I’m happy with the two goals. I had two good crosses from my team-mates. However, I’m disappointed with the result, we had the opportunity to win the match, we had many chances, we lacked concreteness to close it out,” he said.
“Napoli reacted after a great first half on our part. We knew that the second half would be more difficult. After the first goal they regained their confidence, but we could have done better.
“The change? I’m a man, not a robot. I have emotions. I was disappointed because I was convinced I could still help the team, but I respect the coach’s choice. Then I calmed down. I always want the best for my team. I was frustrated because we had to win this game.
“Scoring is never easy. We created many chances against Newcastle and Dortmund, but we weren’t clinical. Today we reacted after the last two defeats, we created a lot.
“We could have scored 4-5 goals. I feel good , I still had energy even in the last minutes, that’s why I wanted to stay on the pitch.
“After the 2-1, they gained confidence, the stadium pushed them. It was the turning point of their match. The foul on the free kick was a bit generous. They deserved it, they pushed all the way in the end. In the end we could have won it. I think it was a good match to see.
“There is no problem between us and the coach. We have an excellent relationship, I was frustrated. The relationship between the coach and team is excellent and will be like this until the end. We are just disappointed and we wanted to win.”