Pioli discusses PSG’s attacking threat, scoring difficulties and defending Mbappe

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has acknowledged the attacking threat that Paris Saint-Germain posed, but also stressed his belief that his side can have their say too.

Milan will take to the field tomorrow night in the French capital hoping to put the 1-0 defeat against Juventus on Sunday night behind them, with the objective being to get a first win in the UCL group stages at the third attempt.

Goalless draws against Newcastle United and Borussia Dortmund have the Rossoneri third in the group at present, and they face a PSG side who followed up a 2-0 win over the Bundesliga team with a 4-1 defeat in England, showing just how open the group is.

Pioli spoke on the eve of the game at the Parc des Princes alongside Olivier Giroud as he answered questions at the pre-match press conference. MilanNews relayed his comments, which we have translated below.

What feelings does the team have?

“It’s a very important match. This double clash with PSG will be very important and I hope not decisive, because I believe and hope that this group will be decided on the last day.”

What do you want to see and what don’t you want to see from the first two games?

“I would like to review everything, because we played two Champions League matches, but football is strange… we didn’t score a single goal and it’s very odd. I think that tomorrow we will have many fewer chances, but maybe with four shots on target we will score five goals!

“Luis Enrique is doing an incredible job: before PSG relied on great champions, now they work more as a team with great champions. We are Milan, we want to play with our heads held high.”

Will Pobega play?

“Pobega has certain characteristics. If I think that his characteristics will be needed more tomorrow, he will play from the start.”

PSG are very attacking…

“Luis Enrique, however, plays with four attacking players: it could be risky either to wait for them or to pick them up. The important thing is to do things together, with the same idea, with the right timing, knowing that we could also, once the first pressure has passed, be dangerous.”

What does Giroud give?

“He is a great player and a man of great depth. He helped the team grow, with goals, with example, with professionalism, with work in every single training session.”

How do you defend against Mbappé?

“He has incredible movement ability and incredible speed. Whoever finds himself in his area will have to be very attentive and prepared to try to anticipate his movement; the more we make things tough for him, the more we will limit him.”

Do you dream of a night with Leao like Mbappé?

“I hope Giroud or any of my players can score. Leao will have to do his best, like Pulisic or anyone else.”

There has been some debate over Leao in the media…

“I do not answer.”

How are Okafor and Loftus-Cheek?

“Okafor will definitely be back for Napoli. Loftus-Cheek is a little better, but I don’t know if he will be there in Naples. Possibly we will change a little something, even positions if necessary.”

How are the attacking woes fixed?

“We have to score more for what we are creating, especially in the Champions League. We have to make the most of the first or second chance that comes along, that’s how we have to do it at this level.”

Should Leao and Pulisic shoot more on goal?

“Of course they have to look for goals more. The problem is when we don’t have a sufficient number of players close to them: if they are doubled up it becomes more difficult to shoot. Against Juve we were too deep, but tomorrow it will be a completely different match.”

It will be the first time facing Donnarumma…

“I saw Gigio with the national team, I hugged him and every now and then we text each other. He gave his all with us until the last day, we’ll say hello to him tomorrow.”

Have you seen Newcastle-PSG back?

“It is unlikely that if they played again, the same result would come out again. PSG had sensational opportunities to take the lead, then football is unpredictable. Of course we looked at it and of course we took some ideas.”

Tags AC Milan PSG Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. Playing against one of the best attack in the competition & we have difficulties scoring knowing very well that PSG will likely play the hell out of us today & if the one or 2 chances we get on goal are wasted by Giroud & Co, then the team is doomed.
    I just hope Pioli do not humiliate us to the world today because PSG will obviously want to make a statement after their humiliation at the hands of Newcastle 🙆🏽‍♂️

  2. Sorry, I’m not sure about Pioli’s abilities. We know don’t expect much from him… I’m sure he won’t last until the end of the season.

  3. Another real test in UCL coming up. Now pioli are facing not low block team. Let’s see the result, 3 point is a must in UCL group.

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