Pioli concedes Milan ‘are not yet ready to compete’ with top UCL teams: “We have a long way to go”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has conceded that his side simply did not do enough in their performance during the defeat against Liverpool tonight.

Milan went into the final group stage game with a chance of qualifying for the last 16 despite the fact they had won just one of their previous five games in the competition. What the Rossoneri needed to do was win against Liverpool and hope that Porto didn’t beat Atletico Madrid, but they couldn’t even get the first bit right as Jurgen Klopp’s side won 2-1.

Pioli spoke to Sky Italia after the game and gave an honest reflection after what was a very sub-par display from his team, devoid of any real intensity, creativity or inspiration, with MilanNews relaying his comments.

“We have to bring home the awareness that the level in Europe is very high. I knew the difficulty of the group and of tonight’s match, unfortunately we didn’t give a great pace to the match and from a technical point of view it wasn’t ours. best match,” he said.

“There are some regrets, against Atletico and Porto at home we would have deserved more. But in our path we are going to find these difficulties. They will be useful for our growth. We will treasure this. There is disappointment because we wanted to stay in Europe.

“Sometimes we could make more use of Ibra’s presence with a long ball. Too many times we played balls backwards, instead of playing balls forward. I am referring above all to the second goal. We have to work better, making better use of the width of the field. We will need it especially when the opponents press us.”

Milan ended up finishing in last place in the group, given that Porto and Atletico Madrid also ended up above the Rossoneri, which shows perhaps just how far off the team are.

“The opponents are strong, I knew of their strength, I thought perhaps that Porto were less strong, but we are talking about a team used to playing in the Champions League. We suffered from this little experience. Today was a game to be careful and give little. We hadn’t conceded much until their first goal. The second goal conceded took away our clarity, we tried until the end. We need to grow and have certain experiences.”

Pioli spoke more specifically about the goals let in: “On the first one it is difficult to be placed better, on the rebound of the goalkeeper you have to be more ready. We had to do better. In the two goals we conceded, our mistakes were more than the quality of the opponents. We have to improve and make fewer mistakes.

“On the second goal one of our midfielders takes the ball and could turn around and go forward and instead came back, putting our defender in difficulty. The San Siro field is not in good condition at the moment, I also talked about it with Klopp. But not we are looking for excuses, we lost and are out. It’s a real shame. We interpreted the game well, we had to do better at the first goal.

“We have faced strong opponents. We are not yet ready to compete with teams like Liverpool which are one of the candidates to win the Champions League. We have a long way to go, we all know that. The fans have been fantastic, we are sorry for them. We will try to do better.”


READ MORE: Klopp praises the ‘nice mix’ of Milan’s project and believes European exit could ‘help’

Tags AC Milan Milan Liverpool Stefano Pioli

13 Comments

  1. Micah97 says:

    We have done a great job of embarrassing ourselves in the Champions league. I feel bad for those fans that spent any money to watch the worst UCL side AC Milan has ever had go winless at home in the group stages. Pretty sure very few are going to commit to watching UCL games next year if we keep embarrassing ourselves like this.

    1. ForzaMilan says:

      Those fans who watched at San Siro are miles better than WHINY DIPSHIT like you who didn’t give any contribution for the team.

    2. Shal says:

      Fans go there to support their fav team and not just to enjoy easy wins. That’s the magic of being a fan: supporting your team regardless of the results. AC Milan fan army were waiting for decade to see their team fighting in UCL. I wish I could have a chance to visit SanSiro just to drop my 100 euros for that crowdfunding even if I have to see my ACMilan losing.
      Once a fan you cannot change this DNA because it is part of you. Yeah, there are guys who would support teams in their bright days and disappear when it is dark but I wouldn’t say they are fans.

  2. Agustinar says:

    Milan need better coach for the UCL. This team has relied on the players heavily. Never count on the tactic of their coach.

    1. Eddie says:

      I agree with you, Pioli is not the man to take Milan to a new height. Hopefully we won’t make the mistake Inter made with Spalleti.

  3. Stam says:

    How does the field make it harder for Milan, that plays on it constantly, than Liverpool who has excellent pitch on Anfield?

    I hope Pioli was asked about subs and why he did not try to play more offen sively until 80th minute…

    1. Micah97 says:

      Milan needs a new owner to Invest in our squad. And a new medical team as well. I felt sorry for the fans that paid to watch that embarrassing game ..I hope the captain and coach issue a formal apogy for embarrassing us and losing to Liverpool academy players in San Siro.

      1. Eddie says:

        Micah97 stop whining about investing. Financial fair play still looming large. You’re forgetting about previous owners who put us where we’re at now. Management is doing a fine job, they need to re-assest Pioli work. Last year we almost missed UCL when we dominated for the most part of the season. And those physio need to be fired and hire more competent physio.

  4. Hans says:

    It was disappointing, but embarrassing? nah….
    Work in progress? Yeah!

    Fans crying a river? O’ Yeah!!! LOL.

  5. Atmars says:

    We can try again next season, lets focus on serie a.

    1. Eddie says:

      It wouldn’t hurt to win coppa Italia or make it to the final.

  6. Shal says:

    Kinda sad to see that Pioli started losing just after signing his contract extension. I hope he didn’t lose his motivation or focus.
    Anyway I am glad we had a chance to participate in UCL. It is a progress. We’ve been waiting for decade for this moment. And it would be too naive to expect a better result.
    We’re not ready but we’re making a progress, and growing. A big journey awaiting but I have a feeling we’re moving in the right direction.

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