Rennes boss Stephan praises Milan after 3-0 loss: “Fantastic in all departments”

By Oliver Fisher -

Rennes head coach Julien Stephan was left with no choice but to praise AC Milan after his side were beaten 3-0 at San Siro last night in the Europa League.

Milan put themselves in a very commanding position in their Europa League play-off round tie against Stade Rennais with last night’s win, against a team that arrived bang in form.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the match-winner again as he scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season either side of half-time, with both being headers. However, Rafael Leao scored the goal of the night as he thumped home a cut-back from Theo Hernandez to make it 3-0.

The result obviously means that Milan have one foot in the next round, but Rennes did have plenty of dangerous moments which means maximum attention will still be needed for the return game in France next week.

At the end of the match, Rennes coach Julien Stéphan spoke at his post-match press conference and reacted to what was a difficult night for his side, with relaying his comments.

Do you still hold hopes of a comeback?

“Today’s result is unfavourable for us. I think the start of the second half was punished, which is a shame because in the first half it was It was all very interesting; we had the feeling that we could create opportunities, with mechanisms that worked, we were alive. Then in 3-4 minutes the situation was reversed. The return leg is compromised.”

What went wrong?

“We faced a very strong team, capable of punishing us when the time was right. I regret the start of the second half, it punished us psychologically.”

Did you expect more from your team?

“I didn’t see a team inhibited by the stadium, even if there was a great stadium and a great environment.”

Where do you put Theo Hernandez and Leao among the best in the world?

“There are players of the highest level at Milan, who play for the national team, but that’s not a discovery today. They are fantastic in all departments. They are powerful, fast. Leao shot onto the crossbar in the first half, but I don’t think they took it so much difficulty in the first half.”

In the pre-match press conference you admitted you were worried about Loftus-Cheek…

“Yes, it’s true. There is theory and then practice in the field. We had also talked about the runs of Loftus-Cheek with the team, but the great quality that Milan has in general allowed us to overcome us in a phase of the game that we expected. Their experience made it possible to cut our actions more easily.”

Can you overturn the deficit?

“I don’t want to think about next Thursday already, I’m thinking about Clermont, a match that is very important for us on Sunday. My spirit and mind are turned to Sunday. Then I have to be honest: going through to the next round is compromised.”


Tags AC Milan Julien Stephan Milan Rennes
Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.