Pioli previews ‘difficult’ Atalanta clash and insists Milan are ‘focused and motivated’

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan will take on Atalanta in the penultimate round of the 2021/22 Serie A season tomorrow, hoping to take another big step towards the Scudetto. Stefano Pioli spoke about the situation during his usual presser today. 

The Rossoneri are currently two points ahead of their city rivals Inter, meaning they need four points from the remaining two games to clinch the Scudetto. Of course, they might need less depending on the results of Inter.

Speaking during his usual press conference this afternoon, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli shared his thoughts on what will be a tough game. He also spoke about the feeling in the group currently, with a lot at stake.

Does this journey remind you of Italy at the Euros?

“I think we have to go a little further back. We have overcome some difficult tasks, tomorrow will be just as difficult. After us, they are the best away from home and Atalanta will force us to play the best football possible.”

On the fans and the moment…

“Having an all Rossoneri stadium tomorrow can only give us even more desire and energy, we know how good our fans are at supporting us. I have seen a very attentive team in recent days.”

On Atalanta and the possible closure of a circle…

“I’m absolutely convinced that that humiliating defeat [5-0 one] helped us understand many things, but I don’t think we will close a circle. Tomorrow is just a very important match. We must not change our mentality.

“In the reverse fixture we played very well against a strong team, we had an excellent match. Tomorrow I expect different things from Atalanta and Gasperini, we don’t know who will play. A very difficult match that we have prepared well for.”

On the tension…

“I think the team will face the match with great awareness, both of the moment and of their qualities. We have overcome many tasks, positive and negative, which have helped us to grow. We have been very good up to now, we will have to be better from here to the end.”

How do you hold back your emotions?

“We don’t have to think any further, we have to think about 18:00 tomorrow, when the match will start. We have to keep thinking only about the match, what happens next depends on the outcome of the game. Then what will happen will happen.”

The atmosphere in the locker room…

“It will seem strange to you, but I only perceived a small percentage of extra attention, which is very positive. For the rest, the same attention, the same smiles between them, the same desire to work.”

How do you feel and how do you think your players feel?

“I’m convinced that they feel the way I do, focused and motivated. We will get on the bus with great positivity and energy because we will have people who will support us for 95 minutes.”

Is tomorrow the last dance for Ibra?

“No, I don’t think so. There are two games to go. Last at San Siro? I hope not, he’s a champion with a capital C. I’m not only referring to the technical aspect. I have esteem for him that is immeasurable. I hope it’s not the end, but Zlatan has the intelligence to decide his future.”

The banner during Milan-Sampdoria after Atalanta…

“I remember the banner well, I understood how close our fans were to us. They put that banner before the game, they supported us despite the fact that we couldn’t win. They hadn’t forgotten the ugly figure but they wanted to help us recover.”

On Rebic…

“Ante is a player of very important quality: technique, physics and character. He had more problems this year but now he’s very well, he’s an important player for us”.

Why Milan have beaten Atalanta away but not at home…

“It’s difficult to answer, if there is a team that doesn’t change between home and away, it is precisely Atalanta. Sometimes football is very strange, just look at Atalanta’s results this year. Tomorrow will be a match between teams that want to attack, intensity and quality will make the difference.”

On Inter…

“I don’t care, I’m not thinking about what Inter can do. We don’t need any other motivation because we are already at our best from this point of view.”

Verona and Atalanta…

“They play similar football, but Atalanta often change their game. We will have to be good at understanding who will come to pick us up and move accordingly, if you move a lot and well you can find more space.”

Is Pioli the right man for Milan?

“When things work it’s because all the members of a club go in one direction and we have to continue like this.”

On the week…

“The week was very normal for our habits: there are collective and individual talks, through videos and technical tactical situations. I didn’t have the need to make motivational speeches, they are all concentrated and attentive”.

From Rangnick to the renewal ahead of the Sassuolo clash…

“I was happy. I have always had a lot of faith in my players, they have always shown me not only technical qualities.”

On the fans…

“I think our fans are unique. They were definitely, absolutely, fantastic when they couldn’t come to the stadium but came here ahead of the start of the decisive matches. We felt all their support, now that they can be present we still feel it. Tomorrow we will have to be one and stimulate each other.”

On the difficulties on corner kicks…

“I think we can do better. Static no, we try many solutions, but we haven’t achieved great results. I hope tomorrow will be better.”

How did Tonali live this week?

“He experienced the week like all of his teammates, with attention and availability.”

The game is scheduled for 18:00 CEST and it will be a great atmosphere at San Siro, given that it’s a sold-out clash. Furthermore, Curva Sud are preparing a special tifo for the game, involving all three rings of the Curva.

Tags AC Milan Atalanta Stefano Pioli


  1. The match ain’t started yet and I am tense. Its not easy concentrating on other tasks today. Will the boys be ready, do they realize the magnitude of the occasion, do they have the guts to be clinical and ruthless in front of goal? Can they feel the tremor in the ground?
    So they realize that 80,000 fans are willing and screaming themselves hoarse to push them all the way to victory?
    Will these guys rise to the occasion and take this crown for themselves: Kings of the Serie A? Will they give us the chance to gloat over inter and all those who called us 3rd or 4th best in the pack?
    Forza Milan! Boys, create your own history!!

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