Pioli ‘a happy manager’ after Milan’s derby win vs. Inter and praises key duo

By Isak Möller -

After what was a special Derby della Madonnina win, AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli shared his thoughts with the media. For large parts of the games, the Rossoneri completely dominated their city rivals. 

Inter managed to take the lead in the first half as Milan’s man-marking system failed, but after that the Rossoneri took control. Rafael Leao scored the equaliser shortly after and they should’ve scored before the half-time whistle.

Pioli made no changes at half-time and it paid off as Olivier Giroud have Milan the lead, followed by another goal from Leao. Speaking to DAZN, as cited by MilanNews, the manager shared his thoughts on the game.

The celebrations at full-time…

“It’s an important match, a direct match and now there’s even more of a great rivalry. Our opponents wanted to prove they were superior for many reasons, I’m happy we won but I really liked the team, we played like a great team for 70 minutes and then we relaxed a bit: when you relax, you put yourself at risk. I train guys who continue to amaze me with their energy, desire to be together, desire to improve: I’m a happy manager.”

On the moments of the game…

“We were good at reading the game. Inter made us dribble. We had prepared to focus a little more on the left to bring out their centre-backs, sometimes we did it well. I like it when the team is on the pitch with maturity, then we play against very strong teams so it’s normal to concede something. We had a great presence on the pitch, every ball could be decisive and we faced it with the right malice.”

On the variations and balance in Europe…

“I’m sure we have grown a lot through the experience of the difficult group last year, we have understood that the Champions League requires performances of a high tactical, technical and mental level. Today we were exclusively focused on the derby.

“In the Champions League, you have to be prepared: Salzburg are completely different from Inter, but what matters is the mentality of the team. I think Inter expected us to go higher to get them today, we waited for them a little longer and we didn’t give much away.”

On intense pressure…

“We prepared for this match, I was sure they would put two quick forwards and then try to find depth with the midfielders. If you really have the right pressure you can afford to go high, but it has to be done right: we didn’t go too high but that meant being even more intense.”

On Leao…

“I believe that to improve it’s necessary to have talent and intelligence, Rafa is talented and is a very intelligent guy. Young people must be given time to grow, and the freedom to make mistakes. We try to put him in the best conditions, he’s a weapon. Rafa is a guy who understands, listens and knows that he must not be satisfied. With this talent, he knows that he must aim high.”

On Maignan…

“If earlier I said that the team surprised me, he doesn’t surprise me anymore. I have a great consideration of Mike … Even as a person, of incredible depth. Clearly, if we do really well it’s because we have high-level players: Maignan is one of them.”

On Pioli is on fire…

“Beyond this song, it is the energy and sharing with our fans. They give us a lot, we try to use everything they give us: we often succeed but sometimes we can also make a mistake.”

It was a special win as it was the first Derby della Madonnina under the ownership of RedBird and Gerry Cardinale. Hopefully, it’s a good omen of what’s to come, but for now the Rossoneri can enjoy the fact that Milano is red and black.

Tags AC Milan Inter Stefano Pioli


    1. Pioli saw he needed someone to transition the attack from Theo to Leao and bring the ball to mid-field if necessary when Leao was marked by two. Tonali can navigate mid-field with ease when on the attack…..in Pioli I trust ! Forza Milano

  1. There were so much talk in various places that Inter was far better than Milan before this derby. There were even some of you people in the comments who were hating on certain Milan players. Ya’ll can make like a tree and leave because PIOLI’S ON FIRE YOUR DEFENSE IS TERRIFIED, PIOLI’S ON FIRE YOUR DEFENSE IS TERRIFIED, PIOLI’S ON FIRE YOUR DEFENSE IS TERRIEDED, PIOLI’S ON FIRE…….

  2. As an Inter Fan, first and foremost congratulations on winning the derby. Secondly, I am starting to firmly believe Inzaghi is the problem with this 3 5 2 formation. He needs to either change up the formation or leave. Milan capitalized on our mistakes and found the net 3 times we capitalIzed on Milan’s mistakes and found the net 2 times. Both teams have issues getting comfortable with leads and so too does Juventus. Not much separated the two sides today other than Maignan being a good goalkeeper and Handanovic along with the rest of the defense sleeping after Leao’e equalizer. I do expect a mouth watering return leg in February (supercoppa in between in January) and hope both teams are at full strength including Lukaku and Ibra next time around. Would have loved to see a 3-3 draw but we lost. My younger brother who is an AC Milan fan gets the spoils today lol.

  3. I love every soul that dedicates his or her precious time to support AC MILAN♥️🖤, I love you all …. FORZA..!! MILANO..!!
    👑 💯 💯 ☑️ ☑️

  4. You guys got it today, congratulations to you, and we will get it next time. Once we fix our problems in the back, if that ever happens under this coach, then the show will be back on the road. The real victory was red bird buying your club, as a New Yorker and an Inter Milan fan I wish the enterprise that owns the New York Yankees would have bought my club lol. That should mean ,capital wise , good things are on the horizon for you guys with vast resources now available to be contributed to the club. It would be typical as an Inter fan to say today should have ended in a draw but I do see it to be a just score line simply because Inter couldn’t score the third goal like Milan was able to. Always love and peace no matter what the team you support. Those vulgar chants are no good and super disrespectful, my younger brother is a Milan fan and no bad blood ever between us, so why the vulgar chants amongst the cugini ? 🤔🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️

  5. Every player on the pitch put in something extra. But Kalulu, the guy is holding his own. He was confident going forward the few times he did, and he didn’t hesitate to take on any of the Inter forwards. I saw he did a one-two with Saelemaekers and was expecting the ball back so he run on goal but Saelemaekers had a different idea. I like the confidence.

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