Pioli reflects on Milan’s defensive errors against Slavia: “We must analyse this”

By Isak Möller -

After the 4-2 win against Slavia Praha at San Siro, AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli spoke to the media and shared his thoughts on the performance. As you would expect, given that they played with one more man for most of the game, he wasn’t pleased. 

Slavia Praha certainly made life difficult for Milan this evening, despite playing with ten men from the 26th minute, and they even had chances to make it 3-3. Fortunately for Pioli, Rafael Leao and Christian Pulisic combined to make it 4-2, but it was far from a good performance.

Speaking to Sky Italia after the game, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli admitted that the Rossoneri could have done several things better. While he praised Slavia Praha, he also stated that the Czech side played with a very low line which made things difficult.

On the performance…

“We could have done more. I expected a second half with more pace. It’s a good victory against a solid opponent. But we are not through to the next round yet, even if the aggregate lead is good.”

On Slavia…

“They are a good team. I expect a different match in the second leg, given that they have to recover two goals and will not be able to spend the whole match waiting for us. They are fast and dangerous on set pieces. They have shown that they are a serious team.”

On the goals conceded…

“The second goal? The height of the line is established by the goalkeeper. Usually in those situations, we make two lines. We weren’t lucky due to Tomori’s deflection, Theo narrowed, but we got the initial positions wrong for me. We were ready. On the first goal, we gave up too much space even though we were three against two outside the area.

“Their second goal took something away from us, luckily we then scored the fourth. In the return leg, they will try to play the game of their lives. Also in Rennes, we made a similar mistake on the occasion of Jovic’s penalty. We were too high with only one line. We will have to analyze this situation.”

On the difficulties in the build-up…

“Gabbia and Kjaer have technical qualities. We filled the spaces too much, the full-backs were too high, they should have been more central to give space to Leao and Pulisic. We had some difficulties, but it’s normal when the opponents play low and close in.”

Most of us who saw the game will know that Pioli, tactically speaking, didn’t do enough this evening. Slavia Praha managed to get forward on several occasions, even with ten men, and Milan didn’t do enough to exploit the spaces either. In short, the manager did not get a good score in our ratings.

Tags AC Milan Slavia Praha Stefano Pioli


  1. how can he expect more pace when it’s him telling them to slow down… i mean, down de 10 man and he’s changing Defenders for Gods sake!

  2. The only thing Milan needs to analyze is the exact date you should be fired from today until the end of the season.

  3. “the full-backs were too high, they should have been more central to give space to Leao and Pulisic”

    We are in March, Milan have been playing with the FBs central to create room on the flanks since the beginning of the season. How is that not drilled in by now? If it isn’t, then that is on Pioli since the players playing out wide have been mostly the same all season.

  4. Everybody is doing whatever they want. Just like village football. No tactics, no coach, no defense.
    Get the ball 0:0:10.
    Lose the ball 9:0: Leao, Giroud.

    Connection between coach and players got broken long time ago

    And fu*k Pioli fans as well

  5. How about the other 2 midfielders cheek and reinders moving off the ball to create spaces and distribute the ball. Pioli takes them both out of the game by putting them both next to giroud, therefore the game is static. Such a dumb gameplay. Midfielders are there for a reason to create, openup play and support up front. If he wants the box to be crowded than should play with 2 forwards ( which is still unbalanced game play with that setup) he did just that whem okafor came on. Ben dropped back. Can’t wait until baldy is gone.

  6. Pioli and the players understand they made mistakes and can do better. But it’s just disgusting to see some fans act like they are some experts manager -_-

  7. Yes next fixture they will be more exposed looking to overturn the score, we can then play counter attacking football sending Leao and Theo running at them. Typical Pioli. Just the simple easy coward tactics. But when opponents play low and close in , he’s no answers.

  8. I like pioli because he doesnt shake hands after the first leg of a 2 leg knockout, the other coaches keep trying to shake hands after the game. you shake after the final leg.

  9. Theo once again is caught ball watching and gives up a goal. I really like Theo but sometimes he has the defensive awareness of a potato

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