Stefano Pioli was proud of how his team reacted in opposition to Celtic, as they secured qualification in the Europa League with a recreation in hand.
The Rossoneri hosted Celtic for a match at San Siro final night time and it began in the worst doable trend for them as after quarter-hour they discovered themselves two targets down (Tom Rogic 7′ and Odsonne Édouard 14′), and with out Simon Kjær who picked up an damage.
Nevertheless, Milan – still with out Zlatan Ibrahimovic however with Stefano Pioli again on the sidelines – fought again splendidly and managed to get the three factors: Hakan Çalhanoğlu (24′), Samu Castillejo (26′), Jens Petter Hauge (50′) and Brahim Díaz (82′) scored the targets, whereas Gigio Donnarumma had a variety of great saves. It’s truly the first time in Milan’s historical past that they got here again from a 2-0 drawback in Europe.
Since Lille beat Sparta Prague in the different match on the group, Milan and Lille have secured qualification with one match still to play. Milan are in second place, going through Sparta subsequent Thursday.
“The sport? The blokes needed to check me, to see if I had recovered! [Laughs],” Pioli informed Sky Italia. “We had began effectively however two moments carelessness put us in issue. It’s true that each recreation provides us concepts upon which we grow, and tonight there have been a lot of these. We should perceive that you simply can go behind however you can get again to any match by team as a team. As we speak we did effectively, we’re a younger team, we have been down by two targets and with out Kjær, we have been lacking different necessary gamers, however we managed to get well, we have been a team and that is what counts.
“The opponents? Celtic tonight had little to play for from the standings standpoint however they needed to get an necessary consequence. We like these sort of matches, we can do higher however I’m very glad with the team’s response. Having certified with a recreation in hand, catching our breath for a second with such a busy schedule is necessary for us.
“Being away whereas optimistic for COVID-19? Two weeks seemed like an eternity, past the matches, there’s the need to be collectively. We have now the pleasure of working collectively and exhausting to present and get the most out it. We need to proceed like this, be bold, and above all take into consideration the subsequent recreation.
“The absence of Ibrahimović? We all know that Zlatan is such an necessary participant even when he’s not taking part in. I like the definition of Bonera, who referred to as him a team chief. He has given the team much more competitiveness and the team was good at profiting from Ibra’s presence. We hope he can come again quickly, I don’t suppose he can come again on Sunday because it’s a muscle downside and we should be cautious. It’s higher to attend for a match and really feel good slightly than danger it. We’re ready to know his situation and that of Leão. We’ll see the way it goes daily. The earlier we get well them the higher, despite the fact that we have now many options: immediately Hauge, Brahim and Castillejo scored, these are necessary indicators.
“The opponents in Serie A? Inter, Juventus and Napoli are stronger than us and they began out with completely different aims. I repeat to the team that we should be bold to attempt to win each single recreation, we have now proven that we can play on par with Roma, Inter and Napoli and I ask the team to grow a lot extra. I consider that the team can still grow a lot, few gamers have reached their finest, I hope this team can proceed to grow much more.
“Accidents? The troubles are accidents: Leão picked up a downside in the nationwide team, Ibra in Naples, Kjær obtained a muscular downside and we don’t but know the extent of it. The temperatures don’t assist… we needed a lot of commitments and we won’t again down, we can additionally overcome these accidents.
“The demise of Maradona? I confronted him as an opponent, despite the fact that I by no means marked him personally – I used to mark Bruno Giordano or Careca. He was a unbelievable participant, I’ve all the time admired him, and he was a Champion and a genius. On this interval I’ve seen many documentaries about him and I used to be moved. Diego won’t ever die, he stays a fable of soccer, a legend. I’m actually sorry, he’ll all the time stay in our hearts and minds.”
Talking to MilanTV, Pioli mentioned: “I believe this recreation has given us some attention-grabbing prompts. I don’t suppose we began the match with the improper mentality as a result of we tried to dominate it from the begin however we additionally made some errors which difficult issues considerably and we should study from this that we all the time should be alert, we have to perceive all the conditions and be technically exact. One other necessary lesson from tonight is the team’s great energy, they continued to consider of their talents and saved on taking part in: 2 targets down we have been very a lot alive, we continued to assault whereas conceding a few probabilities to a team that counters effectively however we won as soon as once more showing great quality and a great coronary heart. If we can go ahead with these 2 traits, we can go far.
“One other document damaged? We don’t pay any thoughts to the data, we’re targeted on rising and bettering. Nevertheless, they do go to indicate that we have now made large progress, we went 2 targets down, it hasn’t occurred a lot this 12 months however we confirmed character and the willpower to combat again, to come back out on prime regardless of the difficulties we confronted: we didn’t simply go 2 targets down, we misplaced Kjær to damage early on. At a time once we are already with out different key gamers, particularly when it comes to persona and character. All that reveals this team’s true energy, they need to do effectively, they need to play effectively, they all the time combat to win and that’s a huge step forward.
“The group? I’m very lucky to have many gamers at my disposal, despite the fact that we have been with out necessary gamers in assault like Ibrahimović and Leão and I selected to relaxation Saelemaekers, I still had quality gamers to decide on from. I’m very joyful Hauge is showcasing his quality, I consider he can still enhance a lot as a result of he hasn’t been with us lengthy and still struggles with the language, and he’s not fairly used to the positions on the area. However he has great quality. Then there’s Brahim and Çalhanoğlu, I’ve many choices, and Castillejo who scored and might have scored many extra, and he’d scored in opposition to Lille too. It’s great that the guys make my job harder when I’ve to decide on and it’s good they’re all the time prepared as a result of we’ll want many sturdy gamers as a result of we have now a lot of aims and robust matches to play.
“Securing qualification? Our goal was to win the group however the most necessary factor was to qualify. Having finished so a recreation early will permit me to make extra reasoned decisions. Many are already taking part in however those that aren’t might be given time, it’ll be their flip and a good take a look at for them.”
Pioli additionally held a post-match press convention: “The purpose of Hauge? It was a recreation that obtained very difficult with the double drawback, however the team was good. This recreation will function a lesion. Hauge scored a good purpose, I’m very as a result of is knowing the strategy to play.
“If at the begin we performed as people and not as a collective? We made a mistake in the conditions we all know, making mistake from a technical standpoint. It’s a recreation that can make us grow and enhance extra and extra.
“Why did I play Kjær as a substitute of Romagnoli? As a result of Romagnoli had some issues just lately. Speaking to Alessio, it was preferable to not have him play three video games in a single week. Simon felt good, sadly this stuff can occur, it might have occurred on Sunday too. Clearly, the danger of damage will increase if you play each three days.
“If Ajer can be of curiosity in January? I’m not the director of the Technical Space. Let’s see, there are a lot of video games left till January. We deal with the subsequent video games and then we’ll see if and what we can do in the January mercato.”