AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli was full of praise for his side as a collective and for certain individuals after the 2-0 win over Lazio at San Siro.
The win was a convincing one and it puts Milan top of the league albeit temporarily until Roma play, as one of only two teams (so far) to have won all of their league games this season.
Pioli spoke to DAZN after the game and reflected on another crucial three points, starting by commenting on the attitude that his team have shown, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews.
“We had to show that Milan knew how to play well. Today we put in more quality than them and we deservedly won,” he said.
Both teams went into the game having won two from two but it was perhaps the away side who arrived having impressed more, as they racked up nine goals scored in their first pair of outings.
However, they were to have no such luck in Lombardy as Milan disposed of them with a very confident performance. The first goal came from Rafael Leao in the first half as the winger settled himself well before firing home.
On Leao: “Leao is already a strength for Milan for what he is doing. Rafa is only 22 years old and is in his third championship in Italy and must become more effective in the final zone. The beauty of coaching players like him and Rebic is that they have different characteristics but we maintain balance. They have a great spirit of sacrifice and ability to adapt and this serves to continue on this path.”
As the game was entering a decisive phase it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who got the second goal to take the sting out of the game as the 39-year-old made his first appearance in four months, scoring within minutes.
“Ibrahimovic has not played a match for 4 months and was delighted to enter and had a few minutes that will make him feel good for the next matches.
“Ibrahimovic never gets old and has a great passion, it’s the fire he has inside. He competes to win, he always trains to the maximum and he does it with pleasure. When you are like this you don’t feel the years go by.”
On the moral growth of the players: “I believe that every player has their own characteristics, above all moral and you have to be good at touching the right buttons. When you see the most experienced teammates who train and have won and teach how to train, you learn by reflex.
“I have strong players like Giroud, Kjaer and Ibrahimovic who help us a lot. We were missing Giroud and Messias who will give us characteristics we will need them. The mentality can be guided by the coach but the champions are needed and the team is alive.
On the tactical element of the match” “I think we were good with the two attacking players or with Rebic and Diaz who worked well defensively. This helped us a lot. They were very aggressive and there was solidity and spirit. Now the boys have to recover well because Wednesday a beautiful challenge awaits us.”
On the dreams of the season: “Our dreams remain huge but we must dream at night and work during the day to make these dreams come true.”