AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli was pleased with the battle that his side showed during the 0-0 draw against Juventus, but rued their inability to demonstrate quality in the opposition’s box.
It was far from a classic under the lights at San Siro as both teams played out a game that reflected just how big the match was in terms of importance. Milan couldn’t afford a second straight home defeat with Inter having won last night against Venezia, while a loss for Juve would have been a big dent to their top four hopes.
The theme of the game was a lack of quality all over the park as both sides got themselves into promising positions but lacked the right decision at the right moment, as well as a bit of courage to take a risk.
Pioli spoke to DAZN at the end of the game to give his thoughts on the stalemate, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“I think we played the right game for our moment, something was missing in the penalty area. At times we were not very precise and not very decisive in our play, but often it was the pitch that didn’t let us make the last pass or a check. The team were careful and decisive, we left few opportunities to a strong team,” he said.
“Our glass is half empty for the missed points against Spezia, not for tonight’s game. The team knows that with Juve and Inter we will decide a lot about our future. If we win the derby we can still be attached to Inter, if we don’t succeed then it will be a season like last year in which we finished second on the last day, but in which we also risked finishing fifth.”
Is there a little bit of sparkle missing in the attack?
“Today we tried to work with two trequartistas, centralising Messias to make him link-up with Brahim. We missed the last pass, but not the position in the box: we got there well. Then if Theo, for example, in the final action misses the pass for Bennacer, it is not because we had too few in the area.
“Winning games is complicated. We will also find that fluidity, even that lightheartedness that we must have. We must not be conditioned by other things. We were good at managing the post match against Spezia, but it wasn’t an easy week. You win with the team, but it is also true that you grow with the tests of the individuals: and today many tests of the individuals are of the highest level.”
On Rebic: “Today I had in mind to put him in first, then the change of Zlatan took away a slot. I think he’s better, the more he plays the more he can get into rhythm. It will be important again, whether he play swide or play more central.”
On Ibra: “I didn’t see Zlatan, he suffered tendon pain: he blamed the ground because it was too hard, I hope he can recover in the next few days.”