Pioli praises ‘strong’ Rebic and admits Milan must work on ‘many things’

By Isak Möller -

Stefano Pioli and his AC Milan claimed three important points this evening to start off the 22/23 season, beating Udinese 4-2. As the manager admitted afterwards, there were some positives and negatives. 

After conceding just two minutes into the game, Milan responded well as Theo Hernandez converted a penalty and Ante Rebic gave the Rossoneri the lead. However, another sloppy situation at the back led to a goal for Udinese at the end of the first half.

Fortunately, Brahim Diaz found the back straight away in the second and Rebic then secured the three points. Speaking to DAZN, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli admitted that there are some things they need to improve, as you would expect.

What did you and what didn’t you like?

“What we certainly didn’t like is the fact that we conceded the goal so early. We have to start the games better. Then we played half an hour of great football. We faced a very dangerous and physical opponent. We take away many positive things and many to work on, as is normal given the period.”

On Rebic…

“He can help us a lot, he’s a very strong player. He has all the characteristics to be an important player for us, I know it and he knows it. I think that too often he judges himself based on goals scored, but with the work he has done for the team, he has certainly given us a lot.”

On Diaz and the goal…

“We ask Brahim to be present in the area and effective with assists: today he scored and bagged an assist. He worked a lot. The team took a step forward on the desire and belief in our qualities.”

On the defensive phase…

“We conceded two goals from an ‘inactive’ ball, we made a change between the two centre-backs that we didn’t have time for. On the corner we were inattentive. It’s a serious mistake we have to work on. Next Sunday’s opponent is of a very high level, we must raise the levels of our performance.”

On De Ketelaere…

“Very positive impressions, he’s a very smart guy. He knows how to read situations in advance. He has had a special summer, but he still isn’t in the best possible condition. He was probably used to working between the lines more alone, we aim to fill those spaces with more players. There is no doubt about his talent, but he comes from a different league and he will need the time to understand this football.”

On Bob Sinclair, Pioli is on Fire and the fans…

“I’m surprised he didn’t know it. I’m joking, obviously. Our fans are fantastic, with their enthusiasm they give us even more strength and energy. The chant is always exciting, we hope it continues for a long time. We have a good season ahead of us, we started well, we have to work because even today we made mistakes, we will make others, we cannot think of being perfect but we must think as perfect as possible.”

Milan will take on Atalanta away from home in the second round, scheduled for Sunday next week. The Bergamo side beat Sampdoria by two goals to nil earlier today and it could be an interesting clash next weekend.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli Udinese


  1. Rebic!!! He must keep playing minutes! No matter what position Pioli chooses for him! He can be effective and helpful for the team from RW, LW, Forward.

  2. when up against a more physical team with better centerbacks I would try him at the 10 ,he is great at slowing/stopping the counter attack and immediately going on the offensive. Good with either foot as well.Tough guy, would love to see him and Giroud on at the same time.

  3. Funny how all of sudden everyone is praising rebic and diaz. The same lot of people who wanted them both to be sold

    I think as fans we all need to stfu and let pioli and the management handle the team. They did it last year and im sure they will this year as well

    1. To be fair I should hold my hands up because I was perplexed at first why he chose Diaz over Adli but very happy to see he proved me wrong!

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