Stefano Pioli hails the performances of Tonali and Diaz after first starts for Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli was pleased with the performances of Sandro Tonali and Brahim Diaz as both made their first starts for the club.

Milan made it two wins from two in Serie A as they saw off Crotone 2-0 at the Stadio Ezio Scida on Sunday evening. Just as it happened on Monday night in the league opener against Bologna, it was a goal in each half that did the business for the Rossoneri.

Stefano Pioli – who was unable to call upon Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Leo Duarte, Alessio Romagnoli, Mateo Musacchio and Andrea Conti – named Brahim Diaz and Sandro Tonali in the starting XI for the first time.

Both did not disappoint in the end, with Brahim even getting on the scoresheet in the second half as he fired home from close range following an assist from a Crotone defender.

Pioli spoke to Milan TV immediately after the win over Crotone, and his words were transcribed by MilanNews.

On Tonali: “A positive game, but I’m sure he can and will grow. Let’s not forget the leap he made, he is fitting in well. I’m happy with his approach and his game. It was certainly an important game for him to unlock, starting the game he showed that he is the player I think he is.”

On Diaz: “He is a player who is not a classic winger, he must be good at alternating movements between the lines and at attacking depth.

“He knows how to move, he knows how to read spaces. He has just arrived too, he is very young. I am satisfied, he has lost a few balls but he must understand. In Italy it’s a different game, more physical and more intense, but he has the quality to do important things.”

On the performance as a whole, he added: “We played a mature match, aware of our way of being on the pitch and our qualities.

“It is not so obvious to arrive on such an insidious field after a tough match like the one against Bodo. We were good mentally, technically we can improve. It is another step forward for our growth.”

Tags AC Milan Brahim Diaz Sandro Tonali