AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli praised his side for continuing the good signs they showed against Cagliari in Wednesday’s win over SPAL.
Milan cruised into the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia thanks to a 3-0 win over Serie A’s bottom-placed side at San Siro, the 11th season in a row they have made the final eight of the competition.
The Rossoneri got the job done in a professional manner thanks to goals in the first half from Krzysztof Piatek and Samu Castillejo plus a second half thunderbolt from Theo Hernandez, though in truth they could have had a few more.
The win sets up a tie against Torino for a chance to get to the semi-finals for what would be the fourth time in five seasons.
Pioli was interviewed by Milan TV after the game, and reflected upon a positive evening with more encouraging signs. His words were transcribed by MilanNews.it.
“A positive evening, we wanted to get through the round and build on the performance in Cagliari, everyone was ready,” he said.
Pioli has chosen to use a 4-4-2 formation for the past two competitive games now, something which Paolo Maldini believes is bringing the best out of the team.
Pioli explained his thinking: “The positions on the pitch are never fixed, they depend on the spaces to be occupied,” he continued.
“We have to occupy the whole field and make the right choices, tonight we did it often and we created many scoring opportunities.”
Beyond the game system, the game concepts are important. We have been better with full-backs to create superiority on the wings. We must be an intense team both when we have the ball and when the opponents have it, to recover it as quickly as possible.”
Simon Kjaer made his debut after completing his move from Sevilla on Monday, helping keep a clean sheet, while Asmir Begovic wasn’t quite ready meaning Antonio Donnarumma had the chance to make AC Milan history.
“Simon and Asmir are two professionals, two guys aware of the situations and their possibilities. We need professionalism and a sense of responsibility, in this market we are putting important pieces in place. The first is Zlatan and then these two guys who will help us much.”