Milan head coach Stefano Pioli noted the “positive step” his team took as they earned their first win in the Champions League group stage this season against Dinamo Zagreb.
An Olivier Giroud penalty was followed by goals from Alexis Saelemaekers and substitute Tommaso Pobega, though Mislav Orsic briefly made a game of it as he pulled a goal back before the latter’s late strike.
The win was Milan’s first at home in the Champions League since September 2013 when they beat Celtic 2-0.
The six games without victory at San Siro was their longest run in the competition, having drawn three and lost three, but the win against their Croatian opponents on Wednesday gave the Rossoneri four points in Group E, having drawn 1-1 at Salzburg last week in their first game.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the game, Pioli spoke of “dreaming” but noted caution as he felt his team could still play better.
“Dreaming is beautiful, the parallel is ‘dreaming at night and working during the day to be able to achieve our dreams’,” he said.
“Today’s victory is yet another positive step, but we can do better.”
35 & 349 – Aged 35 years and 349 days, Olivier Giroud’s penalty has made him the second-oldest French player to score in the UEFA Champions League, after only Laurent Blanc for Manchester United in 2002 (36y 338d). Wine.#UCL #MilanDinamozagreb
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 14, 2022
Giroud’s 45th-minute penalty was just his second goal in his last 12 Champions League appearances.
The France international had only taken six shots in his previous six appearances in the competition for Milan, but got four away against Dinamo, with three on target.
Speaking to Milan TV after the game, Giroud outlined his desire to keep scoring goals in Europe’s premier competition, with back-to-back games against his former club Chelsea on the horizon.
“We started the match well, we could have improved the last pass and our finishing, but we are very happy,” he said.
“It is always a special emotion to play the Champions League. I am very happy because I have one more goal and I want to continue like this.”
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