Pioli reflects on ‘nervous’ Lazio clash, Pulisic incident and ‘strange’ situation with Ibra

By Isak Möller -

After the game between Lazio and AC Milan, in which the latter prevailed by the odd goal, Stefano Pioli spoke to the media and shared his thoughts on the performance. He also discussed Gerry Cardinale’s comments and Zlatan Ibrahimovc’s new role. 

Milan headed into the game with a need for three points after three consecutive games without a win, with Atalanta and Bologna lurking in the standings. Fortunately, although the Rossoneri struggled and Pioli didn’t come up with the right tactics, they won thanks to a late goal.

Speaking to DAZN after the game, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli shared his thoughts on the performance. He was also asked about the Milan owner Gerry Cardinale, who stated in an interview that both he and Zlatan Ibrahimovic aren’t pleased with the season.

On the game… 

“It was a nervous game with many fouls. In the first half, we had little rhythm, we lacked speed and depth on the ball. It was a match balanced, with few chances. In the second half, we started better and took advantage of Lazio’s mistakes.”

What did Sarri tell you about Pellegrini’s expulsion?

“He told me ‘The ball was about to go out’. But the referee didn’t blow the whistle. Pulisic did the correct thing. I don’t see why we we should have let the ball go out, if that was their intention they should have done it [kicked it out of play].”

A tactical comment?

“We had prepared for our midfielders to work more on the flanks to gain numerical superiority: on the right-hand side, we did it well. On the left, Loftus-Cheek was a bit too central. Then in 10 vs 11, it was right to add another striker.”

You are back to not conceding away goals…

“Not conceding goals is important for us. We have the quality to score, we have quality in the starters and in those who take over. When those who come in are ready, then the coach is satisfied. A merit of the professionalism of these guys and the desire to do well.”

Was Leao well?

“Yes, but we only picked him out a few times. Theo could have served him more in the first half, but he was always ready when needed.”

Europa League goal?

“Our objective is to confirm or improve third place in the standings: today’s victory could allow us to extend our lead, then try to catch Juve. There is also great concentration for Slavia Praha, who are an excellent team. The Europa League is one of our objectives.”

What do you think of Cardinale’s words?

“I experience the situation with great concentration on what we are doing, trying to make this season positive, we are focused on doing our best possible. I have never commented on the words of the owners, they have the right and the duty to make their own assessments.”

Do these victories unite even more?

“There has never been a lack of attitude, mistrust or jealousy in the group: this is a great group. If we lose matches, it won’t be due to a lack of cohesion or harmony in the group.”

On Ibrahimovic…

“It’s strange now with Zlatan. He was my player and a teammate until recently. He is immersing himself in the new role with great passion and competence, we are pleased that he is close to us.”

Milan will take on Slavia Praha next as the Europa League Round of 16 awaits. Starting at home, the Rossoneri will want to grab a good result just like against Stade Rennes. Then, at the weekend, they will be up against Empoli.

Tags AC Milan Lazio Stefano Pioli


  1. “We had prepared for our midfielders to work more on the flanks to gain numerical superiority: on the right-hand side, we did it well. On the left, Loftus-Cheek was a bit too central.” That explains lack of goal scoring chances. Pioli logic is something else.

    1. Meanwhile, Inter di Merda easily beat Atalanta with convincing score. Is it because of the coach or the players

      1. Or because of long term thinking and strategic thinking over many years. And ignoring their collosal debt.

        Looking at Inter jealously is the wrong approach; we have a team with so many new players this year that can improve over the next few seasons with good board level management and a consistent buying and selling strategy to make improvements. Inter’s downfall will come along, they’re just at a peak now. Unless they get a Middle Eastern bailout.

        I think we’re having a good season overall, I hope I get to see it develop before too many people demand instant success.

        1. Have you seen how we win games? Individual performances. We very rarely win as a collective anymore.

          That comes from the coach.

          This season, while the points are good, could have and should have been MUCH better.

  2. Our midfield were MIA…not just one but all 3 of them. Cause for concern…we were lucky to get away with it this time, I am just not sure if having Reijnders not starting is a good thing. Best to sub him off later if he is not performing, but I just feel he gives us extra creative play in the middle which we needed in this type of game.

    1. Agreed, I think Bennacer and Adli have some work to go before they’re a reliable combination – but Tijjani got a good rest in before an important week and we still got 3 points at a difficult away ground.

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