AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has conceded that his side were not at their best in tonight’s 0-0 draw against Sassuolo, pledging that the performance in the derby will be better.
It was a disappointing game for Milan in Reggio Emilia against Sassuolo as the performance was subdued and in the end the result was only 0-0 thanks to a first half penalty save from Mike Maignan to deny Domenico Berardi.
Pioli spoke to DAZN to comment on what happened at the Mapei Stadium and to reflect on his side’s performance in view of Saturday’s game against Inter, with his comments relayed by MilanLive.
“There was a lack of clarity, we need to better read the situations and what the opponent allows. We had a good start in the first half, then when Sassuolo lowered we put in too much frenzy and little quality, especially in the movements. The game became dirty and with many interruptions. There was a lack of rhythm,” he said.
The coach also comments on the choice to put Charles De Ketelaere as a centre-forward in the last part of the match.
“With Origi and Rebic we would have had more solutions. De Ketelaere has already played as a striker. Sometimes we got the last step wrong. From 70′ onwards we played as if there were a minute left, too much frenzy.
“At the beginning we had spaces against Sassuolo, then they want deeper and the game changed. We have also granted a few counters too many. A mature team like ours should better manage certain situations.
“Too many times we had five players under the ball ready to attack the space in behind, when two is enough. We had too much desire to win and play the game, so this makes us lose our clarity. Today I didn’t like the game, too many half fouls and many whistles. We need more rhythm.”
Despite the frustrating performance and result, Pioli is positive in view of the derby at the weekend.
“The boys in the locker room are aware of the difficulties they have had and why. Wasting too much time analysing the match that has already ended is not my goal, in the derby it will be a whole other game.
“We have to prepare it well on a tactical and physical level. I wanted to do more rotations today, but I missed some players. This result does not heat up the derby even more. The derby is the derby, it goes beyond the standings. We know the importance of the match and we will prepare it as it should be prepared.”