AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli praised the character of his side as they secured a huge comeback win against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.
Ciro Immobile’s close range finish inside five minutes was enough to send Lazio into the break a goal up, but Olivier Giroud levelled not long after the interval and then Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up Sandro Tonali to win it in the second minute of added time.
Pioli spoke to Milan TV after the game to reflect on the win and the spirit that his team showed, with MilanNews relaying his comments.
On what he said at half-time: “I said that we had started the game badly but then we had recovered well with ideas and clarity, there were situations to try to win. My boys are strong, extraordinary from a mental point of view: not the start we expected but there was a huge reaction.”
On the fans: “It is difficult to say other words for our fans, they give us an incredible charge and energy: the charge we put on the pitch is also thanks to them.”
On Milan having multiple lives like cats: “I told my players that in their place I would be angry, with everything they have shown in these two years they deserve a little more credibility for what they are doing. I’m used to it, because I’ve never been a saviour of my homeland since I coached where I arrived, but I’ve always had to sweat and deserve everything.
“My players have shown that they are strong. We are not there by chance, we have always been at the top. We must continue with this determination. We are not perfect and we never will be but we have a spirit that makes me very proud.”
On the match: “The best thing is to experience these emotions, when you give a lot and receive a lot: I’m talking about working with my players and the relationship with the team with the fans. It fills us with pride and play. We tried to force it too much, it’s true, but we wanted to win. Maybe sometimes you had to dribble a little more. It’s hard to blame my players for anything except for the first 5 minutes.
“Tonight we showed that we can play with even more ferocity. In the last few games of a season, the desire for the technical and tactical aspects counts more. It is therefore no coincidence that Tonali scored at the end, with Ibra giving the assist.
“In my opinion we made that leap, we believe that every ball can be the decisive one. We cannot be light, we have raised expectations, we have raised the level, such a young team has never fought for the Scudetto in Italy before, it is normal for us to feel this tension, but this tension must be thrown back into the field with great determination.”