AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli was happy the fact his side surrendered a lead three times to draw 3-3 with Roma at San Siro on Monday night.
It was a thrilling encounter but for Milan fans it was probably for all the wrong reasons, as a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace and an Alexis Saelemaekers strike were not enough to take all three points.
The Swede scored inside two minutes before Edin Dzeko levelled after a Ciprian Tatarusanu error, and Saelemaekers restored the advantage within two minutes of the restart but Jordan Veretout equalised after a contentious penalty.
Milan thought they had done enough when Ibrahimovic tucked away a penalty of his own following a foul on Hakan Calhanoglu, but Marash Kumbulla bundled home a late equaliser after an assist of sorts from Zlatan, whose near post flick from a corner helped the ball into his path.
Pioli spoke to Sky Italia after the game, and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
“I go home satisfied with the performance, we don’t have to look at the standings. It is useless to hide it, at the end of the game the players were not satisfied, there are regrets, we tried until the end. Romagnoli’s opportunity proves it,” he said.
“The whole performance was of a good level, against a strong opponent. They exploited set pieces better than us. This is the right path, this performance gives us further conviction.”
On Donnarumma’s absence: “Mistakes are part of football, Tatarusanu missed his timing. He’s a strong goalkeeper, on his debut, a little something may have paid off.
“The team’s performance was attentive and spirited. Let’s work on each game and in preparation for the next.”
On the penalties awarded by Giacomelli: “I don’t want to comment.”
On the errors his side made: “Especially in the first half, sometimes we forced it too much. In some choices we were not very decisive, it was enough to move it a little more to create space.
“We could have done better on this, but we always tried to be dangerous. We could have scored more goals, but let’s not forget that it was Roma. We are growing, we will need all the players, we have the qualities to move forward in all competitions. We lacked a bit of technical precision in moments in which we could command the game.”
On Leao: “During the week I spoke quite clearly to Rafa about what I expect from him, I am very happy with his performance.
“He has to continue this way, he is a very young and strong player. Saelemaekers is growing a lot, Castillejo too. We’ve been missing Rebic for more than a month, Hauge was doing well. We raised the level of the attacking department, and it raises the competitiveness.”
On the current moment: “There is a positive environment, full harmony, we work to the maximum every single day. I like the team spirit to be emphasised, it is a selfless group. From the point of view of determination we are second to none. We must continue to continue with this attitude.”
On the COVID emergency: “We are tested every day or almost, but unfortunately we are not exempt from a situation that is affecting everyone.
“We are doing our best, we stick to the rules, the club is helping us. In such a difficult moment for everyone, it is very important that we continue to play, to give some entertainment to the fans. A thousand fans are few but today we felt the difference, it is a step backwards and it is not easy.”