Pioli defends selection choices and points to ‘mistakes’ after ‘really bad evening’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli criticised his team for the many errors that they made during the 4-2 defeat to Monza, but defended his decision to rotate.

The kindest thing to say from a Milan perspective would be that it was an entertaining game at the U-Power Stadium as Monza led by two goals before the Rossoneri roared back and then were stung again right at the end.

Pessina’s penalty and a deflected Mota shot put the hosts 2-0 up at the break then Luka Jovic’s red card seemed to end the contest, yet substitutes Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic both scored to drag Milan level.

The parity was short-lived as Bondo put Palladino’s men back in front with an excellent finish and then to add some final salt to the wound Colombo – on loan from Milan – scored his first goal in a while to make sure of the victory.

Pioli spoke to DAZN after the game to try and pick apart a very tough night for his side, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

What can you reproach the team for?

“We made some mistakes that cost us the match. But when you concede four goals it is also wrong to say that we did the first half hour as we should have done. That’s the reality, then you make mistakes…

“However, the game is still long and we have shown that we have the qualities to be able to get back into it. The numerical inferiority created discomfort for us.

“After the 2-2 we had to be more clear-headed but at that moment the team even wanted to try to win it. An evening in which we made too many mistakes, that’s for sure.”

Did the team drop below the required pace in the first half?

“It should have been faster, Monza waited for us and got behind us: it takes two to give pace. But the ball certainly could have traveled faster but we had found some good situations without being able to make an impact.

“The match changed a lot for the worse for us from the interruption to the red card. All those incidents in which a team like ours had to be more attentive and clear-headed. A defeat that hurts.

“There was a rotation, Rafa was supposed to play but yesterday he stopped during finishing and this morning he didn’t feel like starting from the beginning because he still had a calf problem, and the others were fine. Really bad evening.”

Would you change your choices if you went back?

“Yesterday Pulisic didn’t train because he was still tired and Rafa had to play but he stopped finishing and this morning he kept saying that he didn’t feel free with his calf.

“Rafa has always played, Pulisic the same. I thought it was right like this. Christian has never played so much in recent years, then he came in very well.”

What about the third goal conceded?

“We were missing a midfielder in that situation, but once you’re tied you don’t have to double the lead and you have to leave the one-on-one here.”

Is Thiaw’s mistake or Jovic’s more difficult to explain?

“These are serious mistakes, we all should have done better. A defeat that hurts us, which must make us work better.”

Milan have the fourth-worst defence away from home…

“We have shown that when we work well as a team we can also defend well. Their goal even came from a clearance by the opposing goalkeeper, these are errors that we must try to work on. The too many goals conceded away from home is something that needs to be improved.”

Is it right that now only the Europa League remains?

“Both competitions must be our motivation. We stopped in the league and it shouldn’t have happened. Third place isn’t that solid yet, second place isn’t that far away. We have to redeem ourselves after this bad performance.”


Tags AC Milan Monza Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. Sorry Mr Pioli, the management let you down with the signing of Chuk. Get rid of Chuk. He is a waste of air and space in your squad. SCARED and NO TALENT. He should be playing for Reggina.

    1. It’s not the players fault, piolis terrorist brand of football makes even the best of the best world class players look terrible with his predictable and nonevolving tactics and the stupid rotations that served no purpose.
      Stop defending a coach who keeps endlessly proving that he’s not the right man for the job.

  2. The rapper said he’ll be there and ready for Monza and then saying to the coach he couldn’t even after medical checkups seeing nothing. A lot professional players play through those slide discomforts and maybe there was no real discomfort with the rapper ,just being selfish and childish. Not my type despite the talent

  3. But that’s what happens Pioli when you fail to rotate your team at the right time – they all get tired together ,you’re forced to do this madness. Against Rennes Giroud shouldve been off for Jovic at 60 minutes mark then the French man could of started this one. You’v overworked Pulisic.

    1. I have seen stupid coaches, I have seen foolish coaches but I haven’t seen a coach that is stupid and foolish at d same time like Mr pioli

  4. Stop refusing to take blame!!! You’re poor tactics, your team selection, your refusal to rest players properly, YOUR MESS! I don’t even really blame the players for this. Yes they could’ve played better than today, but when you set things up for failure before the first whistle even goes, it’s on YOU. De Zerbi needs to be top priority

  5. This coach is too sweet.
    Even if we get relegated, he will say ‘We played good as a team and we showed that we have the ability to recover from 10:0 and I trust my team blablablah’
    This is a type of man without balls.

    Inter starts with best possible starters and score as many goals as possible within 60 minutes and they start taking off their good players ‘ONE-BY-ONE’ not all at once.

    Meanwhile our godfather idiot coach changes half of the starting XI and got beaten up in the first half and make 124 substitutions at once push the team to the limits to get game back and make everyone more tired within 45 mins more than 90 mins.

    Aaaaand he is doing it many times hahahaha

    Imagine you put your finger into boiled hot water accidentally… Next time will you do it? People without mental health issues won’t, right?

    But Mr Pioli keep doing it untill some miracle will happen. Never learns from past mistakes.

    Old people say ‘Coffin will heal stupid people’
    Sacking this idiot will teach him.

    And fu**k you shytehead user @Boulden

  6. Heavy change in personnel may require changing the system (A good manager should know this).
    It is obvious, the 4231 is not effective when these other guys play, instead of a copy and paste model; could have paired jovic with Okafor as he (jovic) only does well with a striking partner (both have good movement).
    – RLC is not a creator or ozil type CAM, he has always been exposed against smaller teams who sit back.
    -2/3 rotations every 2/3 games is good but five rotations when your rivals already dropped points??????
    Pioli doesn’t want to take a risk because he knew that winning Europa League would be his best bet at retaining his job (I hope we meet Liverpool in the next round for Mr Pioli to prove himself).

  7. So Lorenzo Colombo isn’t ready yet then ??? Can’t believe the Americans will sell the kid but then again most Americans are dumb

  8. It is that simple. Your time is up. Thank You for what you ha e done thus far, which is not small achievement. Now, Just finish this season as good as you can by qualifying us for Champions league please, and do as good as you can in Europa.

    Cardinale, If you worked for Goldman Sax then you know certain things need to be done now and they need to be done right.

    De Zerbi fits your phylosophy of you g talent. Even when he loses his team still plays well and is joy to watch

    Forza Milan!!!

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