Pioli praises Milan’s effort in ‘complicated’ Genoa draw but declares: “Now it’s time to bite the bullet”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has praised his side for ‘putting everything on the pitch’ and managing to get a result in a ‘complicated’ game.

For the third time this season Milan battled back from a deficit to earn a 2-2 draw, grabbing a point inside the final 10 minutes at the Marassi.

Mattia Destro was the man who predictably was the centre of attention for the home side as he twice gave the hosts the lead; the former Milan striker netting with a close range finish and a header from a pinpoint cross.

The Rossoneri responded the first time through a strike from Davide Calabria from distance, and remarkably it was Pierre Kalulu who rescued a draw as he bundled home from Alessio Romagnoli’s assist with seven minutes to go.

With Inter beating Napoli it means that Milan’s lead atop the Serie A table has been trimmed to one point. Pioli was interviewed by DAZN at the end of the game, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.

“It is a draw in a complicated match on a difficult terrain. We had situations in the first half to take the lead, it would have changed the game. As usual, we put everything on the pitch and managed to get back the result,” he said.

“Even today we conceded two goals but conceded little chances. The goals we are conceding are becoming a little too many, today we did not mark well and failed to cover the spaces on the two crosses. It was a game on a difficult field, the team wanted to win until the end but unfortunately we didn’t succeed.”

On absences: “It is clear that when you have 5-6 players out, the characteristics change. We did a great without injuries, now it’s time to bite the bullet. Those who have played have proven to be up to it. We had a few flaws but we will work on it.”

Theo’s absence: “Let’s say that our team had prepared it with Ghiglione who had to cover that band, it would have been difficult for Theo too. They closed the spaces well, then on two turnovers we conceded two difficult situations. Despite the absences, the team is responding well and is putting in the right qualities to leave the field with positive results.”

On Tonali: “Honestly, I don’t see much difference between a 2 or 3 midfield. Tonali is a complete midfielder, today it was difficult to create for the midfielders. He is a complete midfielder and then it depends on the positions we take on the pitch to try to limit the opponents.”

On the market: “I don’t think the next 2 games will define our prospects. We know we have been out of the Champions League for several years, it would be a great result to bring the club back there.

“Now we just have to work well, the next two games will be difficult and important. We come from a long period in which we have played many games, we are only at the beginning of a long climb and until we are at the top we don’t have to feel the fatigue. However, I saw a willing team.”

What do you expect as a Christmas present? “Positive performances and results in the next races. We need to get the most out of the next two to have a peaceful Christmas for us and our fans. Just this.”

On the renewal: “It was a joke, I’m so happy. I’m happy to coach this group and this top club, then along the way we will see.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli
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