Pioli explains confusion surrounding Leao’s condition before Monza game

By Ben Dixon -

Following AC Milan’s loss against Monza, a lot of questions have been asked of Stefano Pioli regarding his decision to change his front three, and after the game, he explained his decision.

There are many frustrating elements of Sunday’s defeat against Monza, and whilst the manner of defeat will likely be at the forefront of the questions, shortly after will be those regarding Pioli’s decision to alter his starting lineup as much as he did.

The 58-year-old opted to bench Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao, and whilst there were chances given to Noah Okafor, Samu Chukwueze and Luka Jovic, none of the trio took their opportunity, and it was only when they were no longer on the pitch did Milan look like clawing a result back.

The attacking substitutes made their impact felt, with Olivier Giroud scoring from a Christian Pulisic flick-on. The American then curled a lovely shot into the far corner to level the game 20 minutes later. Ultimately, this had little effect, given the conclusion of the game.

Pioli explain some of his decisions made before the game to DAZN following the game, and his comments have been relayed by MilanNews.

“We made some mistakes that prejudiced the match. But when you take four goals it’s also wrong to say that the first half hour we did as we should have done. That’s the reality then you make mistakes…

“But the game is still long, and we showed we have the quality to take it back. The numerical inferiority created discomfort for us. After the 2-2 we had to be more lucid but at that moment the team even wanted to try to win it. An evening when we made too many mistakes, that’s for sure.”

Would you make the same choices again?

“Yesterday, Pulisic didn’t train because he was still tired, and Rafa had to play, but he interrupted the finishing, and this morning, he kept saying he didn’t feel free with his calf. Rafa always played, Pulisic was the same. I thought it was right. Christian has never played so much in the last years, and then he came in very well.”

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao Stefano Pioli


  1. To rotate the team after playing Thursday then Sunday is THE ONLY right decision any one who disagrees doesn’t know anything about football

    1. Are you actually being serious, there were so many unnecessary rotations especially in the attack and most of them didn’t make any sense because the europa league tie is already over and the monza game was a must win to surpass juve at 2nd place.

      1. Did you miss how he said that Rafa and Puli were not 100%? The only other rotation was Jovic – so are you saying that was the unnecessary one? And if so, do you expect 37 year old Giroud to start 3 matches in 7 days? Also, our priority is Europa league, not serie A – champions league spot is practically already sealed, and coming 2nd or 3rd doesn’t make any difference. It sucks to lose to Monza, but it literally makes no real difference in the league

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