AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has stressed how big a response Sunday’s win over Fiorentina was in such a delicate phase of the season.
Milan secured a vital three points as they came from behind to beat Fiorentina 3-2 in a thriller at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the first of five goal scorers on the evening as he latched onto a ball from Simon Kjaer over the top to finish past Dragowski before Erick Pulgar levelled the scoring before the break with a superb free-kick.
Fiorentina then took the lead as Franck Ribery netted against the Rossoneri again, but Brahim Diaz ensured it didn’t last long as he bundled in an equaliser at the far post and Hakan Calhanoglu guided an exquisite shot inside the far post to make it 3-2 with less than 20 minutes remaining.
Pioli was interviewed by Sky Italia after the game, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
On the team putting the Manchester United defeat behind them: “The disappointment was strong, we wanted to go on, but the two performances gave us more motivation and confidence. It was the most difficult race, the guys scraped the barrel to find all possible strength.”
On the celebration at the end of the game: “I always rejoice when we win, the matches are all difficult and important. The more you go on, the more the matches weigh. There are so many teams fighting, we want to try to stay there. We knew we couldn’t be brilliant but the important thing was to get back to victory. Having succeeded against a team like Fiorentina means that we have made an important performance.”
On the words from Ibra about still winning the Scudetto: “Ibra is right to talk about the Scudetto. We must try to win them all, our future depends on us, we have the qualities to try to win every single match. All the matches will be difficult, we must try to insist.”
On Bennacer’s return: “Without taking anything away from Meite and Tonali, Isma has some particular characteristics, I’m happy with his return, now he will go to the national team but he will play only one game which could also do him good.”
On the title charge: “We started with other goals, but now we are there and we play everything. We have beaten a lot of records, but if we do not do well the next matches will lead us to nothing. There are seven very strong teams, four will be happy, three a little less.”
On Juve’s defeat: “I didn’t expect it, but in football you can’t take anything for granted.”