Pioli ‘disappointed’ with Milan’s showing vs. Torino as he explains decision to take Leao off

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has admitted to being ‘disappointed’ with his side’s performance as the unbeaten away league run ended against Torino.

Pioli opted to make multiple changes to his starting line-up compared to the team that beat Dinamo Zagreb in midweek as Fikayo Tomori returned from suspension, Tommaso Pobega came into the double pivot to face the team he was on loan at last season while Junior Messias, Brahim Diaz and Divock Origi came into the attack.

However, the amount of rotation was evident as the team showed probably their most disjointed and incoherent display of the season. They conceded twice in quick succession as an unmarked Djidji headed a free-kick past Ciprian Tatarusanu and Aleksei Miranchuk beat him with a low shot that took a slight deflection.

Junior Messias did get one back in the second half but no big chances were created to generate an equaliser. Stefano Pioli spoke to DAZN after the game to reflect on the loss, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

“We weren’t very lucid. We didn’t play at the highest level. The matches must be addressed, putting quality and determination in the decisive moments, but we weren’t good in ours and in the opponent’s area; we conceded too much.”

What did you dislike compared to what you had prepared?

“We had to dribble more being much more open; Junior did it, Leao less. We tried to get 4 on 4 in front, but the speed of the game from behind and the movements in front were not fast. We were not qualitatively high to unlock the match.”

Why the three changes at half-time?

“I wanted to change something, looking for more liveliness and movement without the ball, with more drive with Dest instead of Kalulu.”

Why did you take Leao off?

“It wasn’t his best night, that’s evident. I have other players with different characteristics and I tried to change. It’s a loss that hurts.”

Are you disappointed?

“I am disappointed, we wanted to continue our strong streak and I expected another convincing performance. We will certainly have to work better.”

Is Napoli’s position scarier now?

“Tonight’s game was important to keep second place and not move away from Napoli; there are many of them and they are having an exceptional season, but it is still long. We must resume our journey, putting aside this bad defeat and thinking about Wednesday: the first goal is approaching.”

Do you expect Salzburg to be similar to Torino?

“No, they are aggressive, but they do not remain closed, with a different mentality than Turin. I think it will be a different game than Turin.”


Tags AC Milan Torino - Milan


    1. It is not Pioli’s fault that our players wasted so many good opportunities. If Leao turned at least one of his attempts into a goal, the entire game would go in a different direction.

  1. At least Pioli didn’t come out with a phony excuse that he took Leao out because of the knock he took. He basically said Leao was trash, and he took him out to send him a message

    1. Yes, it’s a bold move and message from the coach. There’s no indispensable player in the squad. Whether it played out / not, that’s another matter.

  2. Pioli, gain, proved he is not tactician. why?
    1- Taking Rafa out because missing 2 chances? what about Origi or Giroud!
    2- Play Diaz as AMF? he was more effective on right flank
    3- Bennacer not in till 15 mins left? Pull Pogeba idiot instead
    4- DE K , 2nd half? No cooments
    5- Dest instead Kalu? its should Tommri our instead from the begining and put Kjaer
    at the end he fileded 3 attackers.? Rebic is no where to be found.

    Milan deserved to lose. Period


    1. I agree on the Tomori show am thinking he has lost form Kjear with Gabbia would have been better and while wait till eternity to bring on Banneca and remove Pobega who was very silly in the match but instead removed Tonali and again Milan cannot deal with Long balls

    2. “1- Taking Rafa out because missing 2 chances? what about Origi or Giroud!”
      – He took Leao out because Leao wasn’t even playing.

      “4- DE K , 2nd half? No cooments”
      – The way CDK played, he shouldn’t have even entered the pitch at all. Catastrophically bad display.

      “5- Dest instead Kalu?”
      – Kalulu got hit in the eye and it bothered him.

      “Milan deserved to lose. Period”
      – At least you got something correct.

  3. Mediocre coach.,
    not much have experience and tactics combination, he’s not deserved to being Milan head coach.,
    Hopely before late, el presidente of Milan changed him in January.,
    he’s have like Adli, Vranckx, Thiaw in the team., but not give them more time to play.,

    1. “he’s have like Adli, Vranckx, Thiaw”

      Like fielding any (or all) of them would have magically turned the match around as they are world-class superstars, eh?

  4. Pioli đang bảo thủ và cầu toàn. Quay vòng là cần thiết, bạn nên chấp nhận rủi ro mới mong có điều mới mẻ đến với bạn. Trong khi đó mùa giải này Tomori đang không thực sự tốt…

  5. Na poluvremenu je Pioli trebao Kjera umjesto Gabije kako bi sa Tomorijem bili uigran i kompaktan tandem nadalje Benasera umjesto Pobege kako bi sa Tonalijem bio uigraniji i čvršći blok ! Što se napada tiče trebao je ostavit Leaa i Diasa dodat Žirua (to je i napravio) a Rebića stavit desno. To je ozbiljna i jedina kombinacija da izvuku negativnih 2:0 !!!! De Katelare, Pobega,Mesijas,Gabija i Dest to sigurno ne mogu napravit a danas su oni bili okosnica Milana što rezultat i pokazuje !!!!!Tatarušanu tu nije kriv !!

  6. The fact is it was a a disappointing performance.
    Why was that you ask ..I will tell you what I think ..
    I watch a tremendous about football…We played a different game because we perhaps thought this game was a for gone conclusion .The last game we were very organised in both defence and attack .
    Pioli is a great manager ,but I thought he made a mistake in this one .To many changes were made in the starting line up ..Yes some players need a rest ,but we should have started with the same line up as in the previous game ,and yes make changes during the game …One of the biggest mistakes was putting Divoc Origi up front ,yes he has lots of pace ,but that’s all I can say about his performance..Yes he was isolated at times up front ,but his control on the ball was poor.
    I will come to my point Olivier Giroud is a much better centre forward ,in fact one of the best in the game .His awareness of the reading of the game awesome ,and he knows how to make space for others around him ..Yes I am a huge fan of his ,yes he may be 36 years old ,but AC Milan are a much better organised team when Olivier plays ..I was disappointed with Rafael leao ,and his finnished last night was appalling.
    One chance he should have definitely scored .I am not running Rafeol leao down as he is a huge asset and has awsome ability,,just an off day for him ,but just like I said a great player ,and must play in the next match against salsberg in the champions leauge .
    He must start with that man Olivier Giroud up front .
    Rafeol seems to be aware of the runs into space the Olivier makes and they have a great understanding together ..Another disappointment ANTON Rebic ,his control on the ball awful..We AC Milan are still a very good team ,but last nights result was a huge loss however we must move forward to Salsberg on Wednesday evening ..I am utterly convinced you will see the real Ac Milan turn up ,and it will be a clear win for us …so still let us fans remain optimistic.

    1. “One of the biggest mistakes was putting Divoc Origi up front ,yes he has lots of pace ,but that’s all I can say about his performance..Yes he was isolated at times up front ,but his control on the ball was poor.”

      – Yeah, Origi once again showed he cannot be trusted as the main striker – even against team such as Torino.

      Let’s see if Pioli has the courage to rotate players in the future or will he be over-utilizing / exhausting certain players like he has done in the past. I don’t know but what I do know is that we cannot throw away 3 points like this anymore. If Leao would have scored from either of his sitters, we would have taken the 3 points.

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