Pioli praises ‘spirit, mentality and determination’ after hard-fought Fiorentina win

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has admitted that his side defended deeper in the second half against Fiorentina because of the position the team are in and the desire to protect the three points.

Milan went into the game having not won in four league matches meaning they really needed to get back to winning ways against La Viola, and Theo Hernandez’s spot kick at the end of the first half was enough on the night.

The second half ended up being a real battle for the Rossoneri, with Mike Maignan making a heroic save right at the death to deny Mandragora and prevent what would have been a big psychological blow for the team.

Pioli spoke at his post-match press conference to try and assess what was a much-needed win for his side but one that required a lot of grit and determination, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

It was an important victory…

“Yes, but if we manage to give it continuity. We haven’t yet overcome the delicate moment, but we played the game we had to play based on spirit, mentality and determination. Then Dortmund is something else, we would have prepared great even without this victory. Today’s victory cannot fix everything.”

Did you expect more from Chukwueze?

“He didn’t have a brilliant start, but he arrived out of condition in the summer and then got hurt. I liked him tonight, even if we expect a goal or an assist from him and he will give his contribution.”

Are your team too static?

“I don’t really agree, we moved forward by proposing situations in the attacking phase.”

How did you fix the left wing?

“Pulisic takes the full-back away inside the pitch and Theo has more of the field. It can also be done with Leao, but him with his feet on the line… Pulisic and Leao together? I like Leao running to the byline with Theo going inside, but we make different movements.”

Was the second half born from the tension of the moment?

“We played the first 7-8 minutes of the second half with an action here and there. After the counters, even because of the moment, we preferred to stay a little deeper.”

What game did Jovic play?

“I think he really has a lot of talent, technically, he knows how to play football well. Something must click in his head because he can do more. He has room for improvement that only he doesn’t notice.”

Tags AC Milan Milan-Fiorentina Stefano Pioli


    1. True, but the second half was a bit too much sometimes.
      I don’t have a problem with it because how much we decided to park the bus, but even with that we conceided a lot of shots, that, if it wasn’t for Maignan, would have cost us the win. The second half didn’t seem very controlled to me (as opposed to the last half hour against PSG where we closed the gates).
      But again, a win is a win, and this one was done against a strong team (who IMO si better than Roma, Lazio and perhaps even Napoli), and we’ve done it without Leao and Giroud.

      1. On the other hand we could also have scored several goals more. Fiorentinas goal keeper had a great save from pobegas fine header, saved pulisics shot, calabria had two open chances to play a player free in front of the goal, fiorentinas goalkeeper had a great save from jovic’s shot. So we could at least have scored 4-5 goals more and im sure im forgetting some chances here as well.

        1. You’re right, we could have sealed the game at halftime or with Jovic 1vs1.
          But what is also annoying is that we still have this second half issue. Aside from one goal against PSG (which was scored at the 50th minute), we didn’t score a single goal in the second half since our game against Genoa.

  1. I’m glad Pioli understand this victory isn’t solve everything and it needs continuity.

    But facing Dortmund will be hard without Leao and Okafor though. Good thing Giroud is available and have fresh legs because he didn’t play against Fiorentina.

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