AC Milan took a big step towards winning their first league title for 11 years as they beat Atalanta 2-0 at San Siro yesterday evening to move one point away.
After a nervy first half showing, goals from Rafael Leao and Theo Hernandez were enough to get past La Dea and ensure that a draw against Sassuolo in the final round of action would earn the Scudetto. Pioli spoke to Milan TV after the game, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“The skill of the team was defending well. We conceded little to a quality team. We were good at looking for different solutions. Of the last four I do not hide that I thought it was the toughest obstacle. We hadn’t won against Atalanta [at home] for a very long time and now we are close to the finish line,” he said.
On the substitutions: “We saw 3-4 situations that were repeated in the first half and we decided to look for depth. The quality of my players made the difference. We must continue with this serenity, which is one of the best things my boys have.”
On greeting the fans: “I couldn’t wait to jump and dance with the fans. We are experiencing particular emotions, there was an exaggerated passion and support. That song got inside me, we hope to be able to acknowledge our fans better.”
On the group: “I train strong players who are showing me maturity and awareness. You should see how they work and with what serenity they do it with, how they overcome the pressures that derive from the table. We have to do another week like the ones we have been experiencing in the last times.”
On the defensive phase: “The boys have always given us a lot of availability. Stage after stage, growth after growth. We were good at finding solutions, we played a strong defensive phase, against quality players. Kessié’s work was important, in the phase of non-possession he made almost the third central defender.”
On the Scudetto: “When I was asked in the press conferences what our goal was, in our minds it was very clear: to exceed the 79 points we got last year. Knowing that by improving that result, something else could happen. Another week of passion. We mustn’t make the mistake of thinking it’s over, because Sassuolo have incredible attacking players.”