AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has denied that the Super League speculation affected his team, and offered some worrying injury news.
The Rossoneri suffered a hugely damaging 2-1 defeat at San Siro against Sassuolo, surrendering a one-goal lead inside the final 15 minutes as a double from Raspadori turned the game on its head.
It has been nothing but a chaotic and turbulent week in truth that has seen the headlines dominated by the launch of the Super League and its very quick demise, with Milan once of the teams involved in the controversial launch.
Pioli was interviewed by Sky Italia after the defeat against Sassuolo at San Siro, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
On the team and the fatigue: “We are not short of breath, the team ran well and a lot. On the first goal we were unlucky, the ball passed between six stems. It was one of the performances I was most happy with in the occupation of the field. There is a lack of quality.”
On the next matches: “We have to change the page from now on, a defeat always gives a lot of disappointment but we have to turn this disappointment into determination. Our future will pass through head-to-head matches, we must be more clinical.”
On Maldini: “I don’t think anyone could have had any doubts about Paolo’s moral integrity, he has many values, he expressed himself for what he feels. If he said those things it means that he has these feelings.”
Two days after the official announcement of the Super League it seems that the project has failed. Manchester City were the first to say goodbye, then all the other English clubs followed. This morning the press releases from Inter, Atletico Madrid, Milan and also Juventus arrived while Real Madrid and Barcelona seem unmoved.
On the voices of the Super League and Sassuolo who voiced their opposition: “It did not affect us, we did not let ourselves be distracted by anything, we are focused on our goal. Our path will be very difficult we did not let ourselves be distracted by things that did not we decided. I love freedom of speech and thought, certain things are better not to say and just think about them.”
On fear of ruining the season: “There is no fear, it is a privilege to have pressure. We are fighting for the Champions League, if we do not succeed we will not be completely satisfied but we want to succeed.”
On Ibrahimovic: “He had a fatigue in the calf, we hope he can recover [for Lazio] but he is not so sure, nor are the other players [Theo and Bennacer]. We hope to recover as many players as possible.”