Pioli ‘very sorry’ after Atalanta defeat and issues Leao update for Newcastle clash

By Isak Möller -

After the tough defeat against Atalanta, Stefano Pioli shared his thoughts with the media. He stated that Milan could have done a lot better, but that there also were some positives. Furthermore, he provided an update on Rafael Leao. 

Milan came back twice to level the scores but it wasn’t enough to seal even a point against the Bergamo side. Luis Muriel scored the 3-2 winner in the 95th minute with a great backheel, following a Davide Calabria red card minutes before.

Speaking to DAZN, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli spoke about what went wrong for the Rossoneri this evening. He also issued an update on Rafael Leao, who should be back for the game against Newcastle in the Champions League.

On the late goal…

“With numerical parity, it seemed that momentum was on our side, then the numerical inferiority created problems for us. We need to be more clear-headed, certain mistakes have cost us a lot.”

On the performance…

“When you concede three goals, it means the team hasn’t worked well in the defensive phase, we weren’t ready and careful enough about Atalanta’s insertions. We restarted the match twice playing with intensity, energy and a certain quality. We should have gone home at least with a positive result, but this is a heavy defeat.”

Can the many absences be an alibi?

“There are absences but we played the game. Especially in the first half, I think we played better than our opponents but we weren’t able to score. In the second half, we committed some naivety, they are naiveties that weigh and that we will have to improve for the next games.”

Bennacer and Jovic restored the team’s momentum in the second half…

“If the match had ended 2-2, there would have been many positive things. There were many positive things in our match. But we absolutely wanted a different result, there must be an in-depth evaluation on our part. We were there, we were there in the match. Unfortunately, our opponents were better than us in the penalty area and these are situations that we need to improve quickly.”

Jovic and Giroud together…

“I think they can play together. But if they play together we have to change the midfield, maybe even the wingers… Now we’ll see, it’s clear that we have a very important match in Europe. We have a small chance but we want to stay in Europe, we only have one result available. Today is not the result we wanted, I’m very sorry. Now let’s move on to the Champions League and then we will return to the league with even more attention.”

On the league table…

“We wanted continuity, we wanted a string of victories to try to close in on the top. And if you don’t succeed, it’s clear that you have to look behind you. I won’t change my mind about our objectives, the first four places are our objective but we would also like to do something more. Right now we have to do many things better, and then we’ll think about the standings. Now we have to think about winning a lot of games.”

Will Leao return for the Champions League?

“Qualification does not depend only on us but with a victory, we know that we will remain in Europe. Leao should be fine, he did a good training today. He will join the team tomorrow, he should be well and ready to play but the next few days are important.”

How do you deal with being questioned often?

“It’s like this. I’m the coach of Milan and the expectations are very high. The results at this moment do not correspond to the objectives. I can’t help but concentrate on work and improve the situation by giving better guidance to my players. That’s all I can do.”

Milan will take on Newcastle in the final UCL group stage clash on Wednesday, and it’s not looking bright for the Rossoneri. A win won’t be enough to secure a spot in the Round of 16, as the already-qualified Borussia Dortmund also need to beat PSG.

Tags AC Milan Atalanta Stefano Pioli


  1. I’ve gotten to the point that hearing you talk makes me mad. It’s time to part ways. I feel like we’re in a banter era again. Even when we win I don’t feel comfortable anymore.

    1. What a shambles of a game by milan tonight!!!! Makes you want to hide your head in shame …. and remember the new gurus moncada and furlani and their signings last summer.

    2. Time up for pioli, moncada and furlani. They continue to confirm they are an incompetent bunch who think they are clever and that they will continue to fool around with us, milan fans. Honestly, does anyone enjoy milan’s style of play with the ball going backwards and sideways for 80 minutes of the game? Boring, ineffective play that leads us nowhere. We gave only played ONE REPEAT ONE SINGLE decent match since august – against PSG otherwise it has been a shambles of a season. SACK PIOLI STRAIGHTAWAY – anyway it can’t be worse than it is – SACK HIM FOR CHRIST’S SAKE IMMEDIATELY.

      1. Agreed 100%…

        Our style of play is boring, and style of play without the ball gives you heart attack… the only time I saw flare in pressing was when Benacer came in.

        I’m sorry, I don’t see what people see in this coach.
        And what annoys me most is the post match comments like “Especially in the first half, I think we played better than our opponents but we weren’t able to score”. What rubbish!

    3. What Milan really needed to do is literally to find someone to replace Kessie’s role and someone better to replace Diaz (or Hakan if we want to go further). All the foundations have been lied there. But no, the genius coach wanted to do something different. He wanted a new system. He wanted all box to box players in the world. He wanted Leao 2.0.

      After that serie a title and CL semi, this genius thought he’s the member of the elite coaches league. Maybe he really wanted to proof he could do those things on his own, his own legacy. The big mistake of this current management who let the genius coach dare to even think about it.

    1. “There are absences but we played the game. Especially in the first half, I think we played better than our opponents but we weren’t able to score. In the second half, we committed some naivety, they are naiveties that weigh and that we will have to improve for the next games.” IM SICK OF HEARING THE SAME TALK ALWAYS… PIOLI OUT 😠

      1. Because he sucks. Aside from the scudetto what has he done? Lost the supercup, he hasn’t made a final in coppa Italia. His tactics are boring. He’s doesn’t give youth as much chance. At least Gattuso was man enough to walk away unlike him.

        1. You have to be responsible, by resigning as Milan coach, you have to learn a lot to coach a team as big as Milan. And that fool Cardinale won’t fire you,

          1. I’ve been Milan since I was a young boy. I put through the banter Era but this really makes me not want to support the club like before. Unlike the banter Era we have money and it’s painful to be losing in such and not being competitive

  2. Dear god what another bloody disgrace please please can we have a new coach the things that he says after every game I think he’s trying to convince himself that
    he’s talking bullshit. He’s had his chance the league is
    lost now teams like inter and juve win 1.0 at places this we have not got the players to control a situation at 2.2 .to be honest the whole thing is a mess.how long they let it go on remains to be seen soon we will be out of everything.

  3. We are on a wing and a prayer. The coach’s comments don’t offer much comfort…no clear ideas on how we will remedy the situation. If Leao’s name comes up every time we lose than the issue of depth is still a long way off from being addressed. We can’t keep leaving our fate in the hands of teams doing us favors, at some point we need to take responsibility for winning and stop hoping some other contender loses.

  4. Pioli: “There were many positive things in our match.”

    WTF?!!! Name one thing. EVEN ONE!!! Oh wait, I can think of one. We didn’t lose 5-0 again. And that’s only thanks to CDK and his magical finishing skills.

  5. On the sidenote, inter is winning against Udinese 3-0, and it’s just the first half. The same team we couldn’t even score against.
    Kudos to Inter for winning their second star, they are also big UCL contenders to be honest.

    1. No no please don’t say that. After another shambolic display, the last thing I would like to see is- a Milanista praising Inter, even though whatever you have said is somewhat true!

  6. Atalanta lost previous match 0–3.
    In this match Atalanta xG 3.2 and Milan xG 1.18
    And Pioli told we played better….
    This team struggling without any idea how to play….

  7. Calabria’s dumb error not Pioli’s fault.
    Having to use Theo as a CB also not Pioli’s fault.
    Not having Leao to help also not Pioli’s fault
    Chukwueze’s poor form…… you guessed it, not on Pioli.

    Looking flat AF, with lots of possession and presenting little threat ….. that definitely on Pioli as is not being able to organize the defense.

    1. Man … when you have a young CB that you can play and have theo on the left to give better support to attack but you dont do that its on you … playing florenzi who is a washed up player is dumb … playing Musah 90 minutes when he produces absolutly nothing thats dumb … taking out loftus cheek when you needed strength and keeping musah is stupid … the couch had many options and tactics he could have used but instead he kept a field with many bad players … milan could have easily won the game

    1. Pretty decent I think. If the owner understands anything about football it is that we miss out on a lot of money if we fail at the group stage.

    2. None. Only a 10-0 trashing and Pioli attacking publicly against Cardinale & Furlani could MAYBE trigger that but I doubt Pioli would do that.

  8. Pioli tactics:
    1. Leao makes a run by the sideline past defenders — doesn’t work if the opposing defense sits fairly deep or has a quick right back.
    2. Theo tries to make a 50+ yard run and shoot — doesn’t work against any decent midfield/defense.
    3. Giroud heads in from a corner — requires some poor defending
    New tactics for this season:
    4. Pulisic takes a shot from outside the box and we hope it goes in.
    When we look at the actual gameplay we can see that players are too far from each other too quickly progress the ball (kind of like tiki-taka) and they don’t make runs into space either because no one is going to make a great pass/lob. Then there Pioli’s idiotic decisions like playing a high press against a team like Inter who have fast and deadly attackers and great passers. And then the terrible subs. And so on and so on…

    1. “3. Giroud heads in from a corner — requires some poor defending”

      Also requires the corner-taker to get the ball past the first opponent. And that happens maybe once a month. If we’re lucky.

  9. PioLOL shoud go on winter vacation and far far away. But as a matter of fact, which coach is suitable for managing these wrongly handled players for the rest of the season.

  10. A dead rubber is a dead rubber
    The Newcastle game should explain to the management that Pioli is not what Milan needed for the last 4 seasons

    1. Pioli must go, he can’t do it with the team. There are lak of torches among the players and that’s what pioli teaches them. They west must of there playing time at the back with goalkeeper all end up passing the ball back ward instead to move forward at all costs. That’s what pioli been teaching them in training. So pioli must live milan.

  11. This team is a total disaster. Clowndinale🤡 must sell the club. Furlani & Moncada the “masters” of the Algorithm😆 must go soon as possible and of course #PioliOut.

  12. I will not watch Milan’s game until this baldie being fired, thankfully my passion towards video games are greater than football and enjoying myself with it now.

  13. First and foremost, I am sick and tired of Pioli’s comments after each loss. He has never addressed Milan’s issues. That being said, I am also sick of the Milan players lack of gut, lack of commitment to go the extra miles. The players (except very few such as Musah, Giroud, Maignan) do not show any courage to challenge the opposing teams. It is obvious that this bunch is not up to Milan’s standards. They look like a bunch of idiots. From the very first minute of the game one could feel a defeat. It was like a bunch of rats runing here and there with no clear vision and determination. It’s really sad to see this group representing Milan, and that includes Pioli himself.

    1. Well well, who was the director who always did the extra miles in accompanying the team? Who was the right person to show what it takes to be Milan players. Who can transmit the real value of Milan.

      I said it, and I’ll say it again, Pioli without the figures like Maldini and Ibra is just another bald headed coach who never wins any silverware. The mistake is that the current management made he thinks that he’s so much more than he really is.

  14. Who cares about what pioli says? Ac milan is a poor squad,you can’t concede 3 goals to atalanta, you spend 100m plus euro and you fall in bergamo lecce,worst derby ever, udinese. Man u are kidding, this is ac milan,the most glorious italian team in europe and in the world. No more excuses, out all the people that continues playing with our patience.

  15. Helter Skelter football again. We lack cohesion and structure. Teams are able to pick us apart at will, fans are able to see a defeat in 10mins into the game. Pioli is set in choices, when his players are unavailable he falters badly. Most of all he is massively terrible at substitutions. Jovic can make the grade if he is given a fair chance and goal scoring opportunities. But Pioli decisions could block him…. Let’s see, By 2024 all will be laid to bare!

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