Thursday, September 24, 2020

Pioli angry with Milan players following capitulation: We´re capable of great things

SoccerNews in Serie A 10 Feb 2020

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Stefano Pioli vented his anger after Milan collapsed in an absorbing 4-2 derby defeat to Scudetto hopefuls Inter in Serie A.

Leading 2-0 at half-time thanks to Ante Rebic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan conceded four goals in a stunning second half at San Siro on Sunday.

Milan were on track for their first Derby della Madonnina victory in Serie A since 2016, until two goals in as many minutes from Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino levelled proceedings within eight minutes of the interval.

Inter exposed Milan defensively as Stefan de Vrij and Romelu Lukaku earned bragging rights for Antonio Conte’s side and sent the Nerazzurri top of the table.

Unbeaten in seven matches prior to the derby, Milan head coach Pioli told Sky Sport Italia: “I am angry with my players, because we had some defensive duties in those situations and the moment we let it go, we were punished.

“It’s a real pity, as we were in control and outplaying a strong team, making it look like there was never a 19-point gap between us. We had defensive duties and we did not perform them.

“It was absolutely our best first half of the season, but we lost a derby that we had been winning, and we must build on the qualities we showed in that first half. The match must be analysed on the whole.

“We cannot leave Brozovic unmarked on the edge of the box and we cannot allow Alexis Sanchez to spring the offside trap. These are things we know and ought to do properly.

“I have to be angry, I have to be upset, because I need to get it into the minds of these players that they are capable of great things if they avoid those errors.”

Pioli, whose 10th-placed Milan almost snatched a 3-3 draw in the closing stages via Ibrahimovic’s header which hit the post, added: “The first half saw our strategy work very well and perhaps we deserved to be more than 2-0 up.

“Unfortunately, those two incidents where we should’ve done much, much better changed the game on a level of mentality. Conceding two goals in three, four minutes made all the difference.

“We had the chance at the end to equalise 3-3 with Ibra, but we were too distracted on the goals. Inter are a much more experienced team than us and more accustomed to playing certain games, so they got back into it. We were also unfortunate, as we hit the woodwork twice.”

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