It was a frustrating night for Milan as Cagliari held them to a 0-0 draw at San Siro, putting the Rossoneri’s Champions League hopes at risk. Most likely, they will have to win the game against Atalanta.
Stefano Pioli will surely have a lot to answer for in the coming days as his side couldn’t find the right solutions on the pitch. Cagliari sat back and defended, as expected, but yet Milan had nothing prepared (it seemed) to counter this.
The manager used all of his five substitutions this evening and although a few of them did give Milan energy, others were questionable. Speaking to Sky Italia after the game, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli explained the decisions he made.
“I changed Bennacer to have more dynamism and physicality in the middle of the field and on dead balls. Mandzukic had a lot of problems and this morning we called him up at the last minute. He had no more minutes [to give].”
He was also asked about the Champions League and what the situation means for Milan. Contrary to general belief, as the Rossoneri were the winter champions, the former Fiorentina boss said finishing out of the top four wouldn’t be a failure.
“It would change. For the whole season we have done, not finishing in the top four would certainly be a disappointment but not a failure, this year we have laid the foundations for a winning Milan future,” he concluded.