AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli was frustrated with the way his players managed the game during their 1-1 draw against Udinese at San Siro tonight.
Milan came into the game looking to right the wrongs from last weekend when they were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-placed club Salernitana, hoping to put pressure on Inter and Napoli by holding their place atop the table.
The first half went according to plan as Rafael Leao’s goal sent the Rossoneri in 1-0 up at the break, but the second half saw Milan return to their nervous, error-laden ways in Salerno and they surrendered the lead in the 66th minute when Isaac Success finished from close range.
Pioli spoke to DAZN to reflect on what was another frustrating night for his side, with him comments relayed by MilanLive and translated below. He commented on the handball incident (read more here), but also admitted that the performance was poor.
On Udinese’s goal…
“There is no doubt, a clear handball. The referee didn’t see it, but that VAR failed to see it is difficult to understand. This is a serious mistake, it decided the outcome of the game, even if our performance wasn’t great. VAR exists to avoid mistakes, it’s not good. We have been penalized several times.”
On their performance and what’s missing…
“It’s a situation that I’m evaluating. These games are usually hard to unlock, we unlocked it early and served more attention. We lowered ourselves too much and stopped moving forward, we favoured our opponents. It has already happened in other matches, we need to improve.”
Pioli on why Milan are struggling to kill games…
“We are used to moving forward. In general, if you lower yourself, you will have dangerous situations. We had to do better and we will try to improve from the next match.”
Did taking off Giroud have an impact?
“I don’t think so. He and Ante have different characteristics, they must be used differently. We had to be more precise.”
Does the Scudetto pressure affect?
“The team is young. We have to manage these pressures, they are a privilege. Experience will help them grow further.”
On the Coppa Italia clash vs. Inter…
“Now let’s think about Inter in the Coppa Italia, an important match for many reasons. We will prepare it in the best possible way.”