Pioli feeling ‘glass half full’ after draw against Inter and praises ‘important’ impact from sub

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli is choosing to feel optimistic after his side played out a 1-1 draw in an intense Derby della Madonnina against Inter.

The Rossoneri did not produce their best football in the first 80 minutes of the showpiece game at San Siro and went a goal down when Hakan Calhanoglu scored in front of his former side from the penalty spot having won the spot kick himself.

An own-goal from Stefan de Vrij got Milan level seven minutes later, but Milan had Ciprian Tatarusanu to thank for keeping it at 1-1 as he saved a Lautaro Martinez penalty after Fode Ballo-Toure had chopped down Matteo Darmian.

Alexis Saelemaekers hit the post late on with a shot on the break and Franck Kessie should have netted the rebound to steal what would have been a huge three points, but Milan stay seven points above their city rivals heading into the international break.

Pioli spoke to DAZN after the game game and was asked for his reflection on what was a frantic but hard-fought point in the end, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

Glass half full or half empty? “Glass half full. You obviously prepare the games to win. The game was complicated and difficult, the players were generous. The performance was positive against a very strong team, we proved to be strong too.”

Did last year’s game help you learn and improve? “It’s normal, look at the difference in average age between us and Inter in the starting eleven. Now we play the games with more conviction. Inter are certainly among the strongest in the league, there are some difficulties, in some situations we were better and in others they were better.”

On Rebic’s reaction and recovery: “The reaction was there. We went down hard on our mistake while trying to manage. We have kept our ideas. We could have looked for Zlatan more and leaned on him more, but we were still dangerous and fought after for ball.

“Rebic’s recovery is very important because he has important characteristics for the team. There was a need, we have pulled Leao’s neck in recent weeks and we have seen that he was less brilliant than usual even if he too gave everything for the team.”

On staying in the game: “We were very brave even in defence, we looked for two vs. two situations in the central area against strong opponents. In the first half a half had to stay a little further back, there was too much space in front of the defence. In the European leagues it’s just us and Napoli who are unbeaten, the team is making a great effort.”

On the depth of the squad: “Absolutely yes, I’m very happy. We are ambitious, the club has provided me with important potential. Now we must also recover Messias. Those who entered tonight are strong players, I am lucky enough to coach many good players and we must maintain this desire to work together and maintain this availability.”

On the international break: “Am I going on vacation? No, but a couple of days a bit more relaxed yes, then we won’t have any more stops until December 22nd. Now we need to recover energy, I appeal to my players who go to the national team to work well and return healthy. We are all working well, when there is harmony between the club, players and fans, we work well.”


READ MORE: Rossoneri keep seven-point cushion and hit the post late on

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli

6 Comments

  1. victor says:

    It was a mistake to pull out Leao.

    1. El Zhar says:

      Maybe yes,, but no to..
      Leao has been overworked these times bro…
      We can’t risk him too much,

    2. Nino says:

      Well, he does need some rest. But the real mistake was leaving Krunic on for 84mins. He should have come out instead of Tonali and Milan would have won the game. Because, a Bennacer could drop deep while Tonali pushes up as the 10. Between both (Tonali and Bennacer) there would have been a goal or a great pass.

      Krunic made Ibra redundant.

      1. Black tifoso says:

        The soul purpose of krunic in the 10 role was to neutralize Brozovic which actually worked because he couldn’t orchestrate Inter’s play

  2. Eli says:

    That’s absolutely true. Ibra needed either Diaz behind him or Krunic being sub for Bennacer. If Ibra had seen much of the balls we would have taken the 3 max points home. Krunic cannot play the no. 10 role. Atleast Pioli should have sub Krunic and brought Diaz to his natural no. 10 role.

  3. Rossoneri fan says:

    I really don’t know what Kessie is doing in Milan Starting 11.

    He cost us Champions League group stage qualification with his stupid red card against Athletico.

    Now he just cost us another silly goal against Inter.

    He have not extended his contract, while flirting with all teams with money. He is dreaming and thinking about money.

    Yet the Dumbo coach Pioli will always start Kessie

    Big shame

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