Stefano Pioli was “satisfied” with a 1-0 Champions League win over Tottenham but knows Milan face a stern test in the second leg.
Brahim Diaz’s early goal at San Siro on Tuesday ensured the Rossoneri will take a slender advantage to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on March 8 in the battle for a quarter-final spot.
The Serie A champions beat Torino 1-0 last Friday to end a dismal run of seven games without a victory and they followed that up with a first win over Spurs in a competitive match at the fifth attempt.
Charles De Ketelaere and Malick Thiaw wasted glorious chances to extend Milan’s lead in the last-16 tie, but a heavier defeat would have been harsh on Antonio Conte’s side on the former Inter head coach’s return to San Siro.
Rossoneri boss Pioli was content to be in front at the halfway stage in the clash, knowing the Premier League club will fancy their chances of coming from behind in London next month.
He told Mediaset: “It was a difficult, hard-fought match against a tough team. We played a good game, but we know how tough it will be. But tonight I’m satisfied.”
Pioli added: “This performance will give us morale, but we have to be attentive, dynamic, ready. We’ve had a difficult month, but we’re trying to overcome all the difficulties. I keep thinking and believing I’m coaching a truly special group.”
We love these nights #ACMTOT #UCL #SempreMilan pic.twitter.com/t0NF6quOZy
— AC Milan (@acmilan) February 14, 2023
Asked if he was disappointed not having a bigger lead, he replied: “Yes, for those two chances… De Ketelaere’s and Thiaw’s. But they, too, put us in difficulty and there are many positive aspects.
“It was only the first stage and the second will be even more difficult.”
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