Stefano Pioli admitted that AC Milan were not at their best against Genoa but stressed that the most important thing at this stage is getting results.
Milan were far from their best once again in the 2-0 victory over the Rossoblu but an early goal from Rafael Leao helped to calm the nerves and Junior Messias made sure of the win in the closing stages.
It means that the Rossoneri hang on to top spot over the Easter weekend after Inter’s 3-1 win against Spezia put the pressure on, and the scene is perfectly set for next week’s Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against the city rivals.
Pioli spoke to the reporters who gathered in the press conference room after the match against Genoa to reflect on the game, with his comments relayed by MilanNews and translated below.
On the performance: “Perfect result obtained through an imperfect performance.”
On the pressures: “That’s the concept I expressed to the team before we went on the pitch. It’s the same pressure, anxiety, we had last year but we were fighting for the top four. So it’s a privilege. The boys are fighting for the first time. for such an important goal. I saw the right spirit.”
On what kind of an Easter it will be: “It will be a peaceful Easter, but I cannot enjoy the victories. We will work, head to Tuesday, we will be together to work.”
On whether it was an exhausting game: “From a mental point of view it is very exhausting, but the victory immediately gives you a lot of energy. We certainly spent a lot, but we will recover well, on Tuesday we will not have problems of this type.”
On Kalulu: “Be careful to pay too many compliments to the young guys, even though Pierre is serious and very mature. He knew 20 minutes before kick-off that he was going to play in a position he hasn’t been training in for a long time. We often delay the cross and make the attacker miss the move. I’m happy that Leao attacked the goal.”
On the performance: “I liked it, we made a few mistakes too many after recovering the ball. We recovered the ball a lot, but we weren’t always precise in the restart. I liked the two phases. We can be more precise from the start from a technical point of view.”
On Calabria and Krunic: “Unfortunately Davide has flu sumptoms and a bit of fever, he was vomiting. He tried but couldn’t play, I hope he can recover by Tuesday. Krunic is intelligent so you can use him anywhere.”