Pioli says his players ‘know what to do’ against Roma and stresses importance of defence

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli spoke to the press ahead of the crucial Europa League quarter-final second leg against AS Roma on Thursday night. 

The Rossoneri are 1-0 down from the first leg after turning in an underwhelming display at San Siro just under a week ago, so the questions centred on whether they will be able to turn it around and keep the hopes of a trophy alive.

Naturally, Pioli was quizzed (as transcribed by Milan News) by reporters on what this match means for his future and for the team overall.

The coach was quick to explain that his team will need to show more concentration and play at a higher level than they did in the first leg.

“We will need a high-level performance, we will need more attention to detail than last Thursday. Of course, I have confidence in the team,” he said.

When asked what he wants to see his players do, and not see them do, Pioli simply replied: “The players know: we have done videos, meetings, we know what to do.”

It has been pointed out that two of Milan’s group stage opponents in the Champions League are now in the semi-finals of the Champions League, to which Pioli said: “We are the same ones who went to the semi-finals of the Champions League. It’s not a question of missing out, but that the level has been raised and we have raised our level. One of our opponents will make it to the final, but it’s of little use to us.”

When asked if Milan need to show some improvements in defence, Pioli said: “The issue is right there: if we defend well we can win the game.”

On De Rossi’s success in the first leg

“It bothers me to lose the game, then what is said about the game is there. Almost always judgements are conditioned by the final result. But that was another game. We’ve reviewed the game, we know what we have to do, even if other situations happen to us tomorrow and I’m sure the lads will be good at preventing them.”

Did De Rossi touch a nerve?

“The match is of such importance that the boys know how to play it. The first leg did not take anything away from us. It doesn’t matter how you get to these games: you have to play them and win them.”

Tags AC Milan Roma Milan Stefano Pioli


      1. We didn’t show but Roma didn’t open up. We still struggle to show up against team who really close the gap, especially Theo and Leao who thrive in open spaces.

    1. If Roma decides to open / leave some space, we can easily see our boys play like we know how. But looking at this DDR’s Roma, it’s highly unlikely. The 1st goal (whichever team scores first) will decide on how the entire match plays out.

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