Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Milan ´have to grow up and take responsibility´ after Supercoppa loss – Kjaer

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Jan 2023

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Milan can have no excuses for their heavy Supercoppa Italiana loss to Inter and must now “grow up and take responsibility”, according to defender Simon Kjaer.

Stefano Pioli’s side were on the end of a 3-0 loss at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Wednesday as fierce rivals Inter retained the cup.

It is the first time since Juventus’ 4-0 win over Lazio in 2013 that the contest between the reigning Scudetto and Coppa Italia holders has been won by a three-or-more goal margin.

The Rossoneri were also eliminated from the Coppa Italia at the last-16 stage by Torino last week and are nine points behind leaders Napoli in Serie A after drawing their past two games.

After ending the club’s 11-year wait for Scudetto glory last year with a team that had the youngest average age of any title winner across Europe’s top five leagues, Kjaer accepts there is no explanation for their current form.

“We got off to a bad start, then it became difficult,” Kjaer, who was recalled to the starting line-up, told Milan TV. “They are good at what they do, but tonight we didn’t put in the performance to deserve the win.

“We have to apologise to the fans. We have to analyse this match and then start again. There is no time to put our heads down but this match hurts.

“The talk of young players lacking experience is over. We have to grow up and take responsibility. We have not played with our identity and we have to learn and look carefully at our mistakes.

“It was a tough evening, especially mentally, but in these moments we have to find our identity and we have to improve in many aspects of the game.”

Inter became the first side since Roma in 2006 to score twice in the opening 25 minutes of a Supercoppa Italiana clash, with goals from Federico Dimarco and Edin Dzeko putting them in control.

Milan’s defence was far too easily beaten for both goals, as was the case when Lautaro Martinez added a third in the second half after getting the better of Fikayo Tomori.

Now on their longest winless run since February 2021, Pioli admits something has to change in terms of the team dynamic.

“We’ve missed out on one trophy but there is still lots of the season to turn it into a positive one,” he said at his post-match press conference.

“But if we want different results, a little bit needs changing from a mental point of view and the way we approach matches. We play Lazio next and can go back to playing our football.

“The aim is to get back to being a team with confidence. We need to think about raising the quality of our game.”

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