Pioli addresses injuries, Leao and Giroud reactions plus ‘bitter taste’ after Napoli draw

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli believes that his side’s finishing let them down and stopped them from killing off the game against Napoli, leaving a ‘bitter taste’.

Napoli and Milan played out what the neutral would call a thriller at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona tonight as the home side came from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw.

However, for fans of both teams it may well feel like there are more worries even after such an entertaining spectacle, with Rudi Garcia’s men starting slowly and the Rossoneri throwing away a lead they really needed to hold.

The result also means that Milan are now third in the table and three points behind leaders Inter, while they are winless in three games which includes defeats to Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Pioli spoke to DAZN after the game to try and assess what was a chaotic night in Naples, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

A game of two halves…

“If we had lost this match too we would have had to talk about an unfortunate moment. The mistake was conceding the first goal, we let the opponent back into the match.

“For what we created today, two goals are too few. It’s a shame because the performance was there. Coming out with only one point is a disappointment.”

Leao are Giroud didn’t react well to being subbed off…

“I saw that we needed fresh energy and it was the third match of the week: I brought in two players who then did well. Leao asks for explanations, as he should, and I will give them to him.”

How disappointing is a draw? 

“The bitter taste remains. When you go into a two-goal advantage you have to bring the game home. We shouldn’t have conceded that situation there. But we didn’t stop playing in the second half and we had our opportunities, as Napoli did.”

Leao took up a different position in the second half…

“When Oli gave the right time to press, Rafa or Cristian had to close in on the second central defender from the other side. We had a defensive phase with compactness and aggression, giving the right amount to a team with a lot of quality.”

Milan are struggling to finish chances…

“I hope it’s just a temporary matter. Sometimes you shoot badly and you score goals. What matters is creating so much and playing such a proactive game. We managed to build better from the back. We must continue to grow and improve to be competitive in the league and Champions League”

What are the objectives for this team?

“The destiny of a coach is always in the hands of a club and it is normal that we have the ambition to win. It is right that we think so. We know that there are three or four other teams that can win it.

“I have learned not to think too much about what happened yesterday or even look ahead, continuing to work day by day.

“Winning the scudetto would be extraordinary but not because we aren’t at the level of the big teams. To win you need discipline and quality.”

There were more injury problems…

“This is the sore point. Kalulu shouldn’t have played if Kjaer was well: it’s not clear if it was a contusion or if he suffered damage to the quadriceps.

“Pulisic strained his flexor and it was useless to risk him. Pellegrino had a very bad sprained ankle and couldn’t run.”

Tags AC Milan Napoli-Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. Shut up and go away Pioli. You and Krunic need to go to Turkey or MLS. We need a real manager with real tactics. Your time is up, it’s over.

    1. I see Milan finishing 4-5th this season with this pioli mindset and lack of creativity.. What the hell stopped pioli from bringing in the only creative player we have “Adli”.. It’s not enough to throw in strikers or wingers when no body can give them that ball… Pioli is Milan problem he is so addicted to some certain players and I don’t know why?

  2. Pioli is just a junck,take it or leave Milan won the league last two seasons all thanks to Ibrahimovic bcoz someone will come here soon to say he won us league, our coach is blind and clueless…

  3. Why this much talk Mr Pioli ? You said pre-match that the game “wasn’t decisive”. It takes a coach with actual ambition to know that a point from the first game of the season is worth as much as the last, and the last as much as the first.

  4. If Leao needs an explanation for why he got subbed, Pioli should just tell him to rematch the game.
    He got subbed off because he was trash.
    Giroud on the other hand had the right to be upset.

  5. have you noticed that every time you come back from the locker room against a big team, you concede in the following 15 minutes

  6. Pioli’s time is at an end
    Beating big teams is too much for him
    This draw with Napoli is a big lose for Milan no matter how he paints it

  7. Pioli is simply not a good coach. Why didn’t he bring on Florenzi instead of Pellegrino? The kid is clearly not ready and should have not been put in that situation. Also, why keep playing Krunic???? Adli on the bench. And why take off Giroud while he was having an excellent game! Stupid stupid coach. He is the reason why Milan didn’t win this game. He has no tactics, no brain! We need someone who will get the best out of these players. Leao contributed nothing to the game, yet he starts every time. Bench him until he starts working harder and let Okafor play – at least Okafor puts an effort in.

  8. The injuries are KILLING us. I mean, honest to God. All this data driven project and analytics, but we can’t figure out medical staff and qualified trainers to keep the players from injuries….


    The only positive here is that we don’t play again until Saturday which gives us some breathing room, because the players need it, especially Reijnders. PSG is the week after next and an international break the week following.

  9. Pioli Stefano you have a problem the problem is that the formation your using is too bad and you know it instead of you to change that formation your their telling us story creating the same drama for causing us pain look our improvement in champions league you don’t know it is painful please sack Pioli remove krunic,tomori,and thiaw enough is enough

  10. Am very sure the management are attentive to this. This man need to go for a fresh air and we still need ZLATAN back in the dressing room

  11. From many years there is a lack of physical preparation of the team, that is the cause of excessive injuries.
    And Pioli is an outdated coach.

  12. I like how fans sh!t on Pioli even tho we totally owned Napoli for 45min on their grounds.
    Cr@p coach. No exp coach. Clueless coach ect etc..

    The fuuck did you people expect from this game? Or the PSG one.. Milan isnt sh!ty to bulldoze through teams. And realstic view is this isnt a scudeto winning team, they lack a whole lot for that. If everyone was fit and in form maybe. But that is not the case, is it?

  13. See ur mouth milan has pass ur level we need more non among of milan milders can giv the ball direct ball to attackers than adli but u hate him.

  14. To me, the only mistake from Mr Pioli made the whole game was bringing Romero while we were 2-0 up. It’d have been better to bring in Adli and turned the game to a 4-2-3-1 formation with musah on the right.
    Aside that, every other thing was good. We didn’t expect him to come help Theo mark politano or stop kalulu from getting injured. He was short of options and had to make do with the available players. Leao and Giroud were getting very leggy and costing us possession. It’s a game of football, we weren’t expecting Napoli to just lie down and allow us walk past them were we?

  15. Milanista I hope y’all are all enjoying the show! Mr pioli had been dishing you all with tactical masterful and coaching mastery all season long! what a shame… Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not here to cover for your flaws….what a chicken of a coach devoid of clues, creativity, control and cohesion… May the lord have mercy for this constant dishes of boring play

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