Pioli discusses ‘beautiful sign’ after Roma win and praises young centre-back duo

By Isak Möller -

Despite several key absences, AC Milan came away with all three points this evening as they beat Roma quite convincingly, three goals to one. As you would expect, Stefano Pioli was happy with the display. 

It’s been mentioned so much lately that there’s no use putting down all the names, but the fact that Matteo Gabbia and Pierre Kalulu started at the back tonight says a lot. Fortunately, they did really well together.

In an interview with, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli spoke about the game and he was obviously very happy with the performance. Among other things, he praised the centre-back duo of Gabbia and Kalulu.

On the spot…

“I was sure we had a good break. The team needed to breathe and work with the right volume and intensity. I have found players who are very helpful. We are prepared, ready, seeing them with such clear ideas is a beautiful sign that must accompany us in this second round.”

On the players on the bench…

“It’s clear that Leao and Rebic’s comeback help, I didn’t let him in but he’s better, they can make a difference. We interpreted the game well, we covered the pitch well. Individual qualities have always made the difference and luckily we are catching up with players with these characteristics.”

Being ready from the bench…

“We all work on it. Me, the club and the managers who are always close to me. It is continuous work, it is a pleasure to train these guys: generous, they want to grow and they want to learn even through mistakes. I am satisfied with this match, but we have to concentrate immediately because we are very few and in two days we will play another important match.”

On Kalulu…

“His best position would be centre-right in a three-man defence, there he has the perfect characteristics. But he has an incredible personality on the pitch, in the sense that he can make something wrong as it is normal but he gets over it. He is intelligent, he knows how to move well, he is fast.

“He is strong, it no longer surprises me because I know him well. He arrived with the lights off, he works well and applies himself a lot, he is a serious guy and I am very happy for both him and for Gabbia who have been ready against a respectable opponent.”

A great team test…

“These are important tests but only if we are able to repeat them next Sunday, continuity makes the difference in such a competitive and difficult league. We have a goal in mind which is to improve last year’s score and we started well. Now let’s focus on the next game. In Serie A, either you are always at very high levels or you risk making a bad impression.”

On the position of Tonali and Krunic…

“If I had decided to build with two midfielders I would certainly have chosen Bakayoko and not Krunic, we chose to build only with a low top and with Krunic and Diaz close to Giroud to work behind their midfielders. We created a lot and we were dangerous.”

On Tonali…

“Sandro played an amazing game, in Italy I don’t know how many players born in 2000 are at that level or who play with so much continuity and now finally with so much clarity and quality. He did a fantastic job in both phases of the game. He’s been very careful, he’s growing a lot. He is a generous boy, he certainly has room for growth and must continue like this. He proved to be an important player.”

It was three important points for the Rossoneri, who will take on Venezia on Sunday afternoon. Given how well they did tonight, they are absolutely still the favourites for that game (even though Covid players will remain out).

READ MORE: Leao insists Milan ‘weren’t in difficulty’ during Roma win and reveals specific instruction Pioli gave

Tags AC Milan Roma Stefano Pioli

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