AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli admitted his disappointed at how his side did not defender ‘carefully’ during their 3-0 defeat to Atalanta.
The Rossoneri simply never got going in what was a fixture where they were looking to keep their position at the top and do so in style, as the away side ended up running riot in a game that didn’t feel too dissimilar to the 5-0 at the Gewiss Arena in December 2019.
Cristian Romero opened the scoring for the visitors with a close range header, then Josip Ilicic doubled the advantage in the second half from the penalty spot and Duvan Zapata made it 3-0 late on.
Pioli spoke to Sky Italia after the game, with his comments transcribed by Football Italia.
“We had started well, put lots of players into attack. It’s disappointing the way we conceded the opener on a set play, then the second goal closed the game. We had time, but were unable to find a way back into the match,” he said.
“We could’ve done more, we knew that we had to defend more carefully and the marking was also not the best, but we could have intercepted the cross earlier too.
“Atalanta did better than us this evening, a defeat can happen against a strong team. It’s disappointing, the second goal, as we just lost belief after that.
“It’s a very competitive league, we know it’s difficult, but we are up there at the top and we want to have our say.”
Pioli was asked about how the team have lost big games at San Siro against Juventus and now against Atalanta, but he insisted it is nothing to worry about.
“I think defeats to Juventus and Atalanta are nothing to be ashamed of. There are very high levels everywhere, so Atalanta were physically superior, more intense, winning all the duels and the second balls too.
“It’s a tight thing when you reach this level. We will analyse the defeat, try to see where we can improve and focus on the next match.”
There were some eyebrows raised when Meite started as an attacking midfielder, an experiment that didn’t work as he was taken off at half-time.
“Atalanta are a very physical side and I felt that we needed another midfielder who could counter that element in that area of the pitch. I knew Brahim Diaz was on the bench and could come on to provide different characteristics in that role.”
Inter’s draw with Udinese means the Rossoneri remain top by two points and have earned the title of ‘Winter Scudetto’.
“If it brings good luck, then it is welcome! We know what we can do, we know where we need to improve and what we are capable of.”