Pioli explains why he decided to start Maldini up front against Rio Ave

By Isak Möller -

Many were surprised to see the lineup when it was announced on Thursday evening, one hour before Rio Ave-Milan, as Daniel Maldini was included as the striker. A position we aren’t used to seeing him in. 

The youngster didn’t have a whole lot to work with and failed to put his stamp on the game, often losing the duels to the centre-backs. Stefano Pioli was criticised for his decision afterwards, seeing as it limited the Rossoneri’s attack.

Many wanted to see Lorenzo Colombo or Rafael Leao, who would guarantee more physical presence, especially the former. During today’s press conference at Milanello, Pioli explained why he decided to start Maldini in that role.

“I thought I would not give points of reference to the two Rio Ave centre-backs, sometimes we did it well, others less so. For tomorrow we will see which features we need,” he explained (via MilanNews.it).

In hindsight, it perhaps wasn’t the best of tactics but a bold one that could have paid off. For tomorrow’s clash against Spezia, Colombo is expected to start up front and Milan’s style of play will subsequently be what we are used to seeing.

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Tags AC Milan Daniel Maldini Stefano Pioli