André Silva hopes there are more hat-tricks in the future for him and says Milan had a different approach against Austria Wien than against Lazio.
Coach Vincenzo Montella changed the system to 3-5-2 with Hakan Çalhanoğlu in midfield and André Silva-Nikola Kalinić in attack, and it worked very well last night against Austria Wien in Matchday 1 of the 2017/18 Europa League Group Stage (5-1).
Silva started for the first time since the Shkëndija away match on August 24th and it was seen from the get go that he is hungry to score and prove himself. He finished the match with a hat-trick (11′, 20′, 56′) and became the first Milan player to do so in Europe since Kaka in 2006.
“I’m very happy to win and bring home the ball. We had a great game. Scoring goals is my duty. Çalhanoğlu helped me a lot [the Turkish #10 assisted two of the Portuguese’s goals on Thursday] but the credit goes to everyone. We have to continue like this,” Silva told MilanTV after the match.
Speaking to Sky Italia, he added: “It was my first start in the Europa League, I got a hat-trick and am very grateful to my teammates. We put in a great performance. I felt good alongside Kalinić. I’m happy to be part of this squad and get along with all my teammates, as we give our best for each other. The coach will decide if I am ready to start in Serie A [the next match is on Sunday against Udinese at 15:00 CET]. I work hard and we are all fighting for the same team objective.”
The 21-year-old, who arrived from Porto for €38m plus bonuses this summer, also spoke in the mixed zone of Ernst-Happel-Stadion: “I’m very happy to bring the ball home and I hope it’s not the only one. I hadn’t scored three goals until now. It was important to have such a performance. On a personal level, I want to thank all my teammates who enabled me. It’s their merit more than it is mine.
“Çalhanoğlu? As I’ve already said, I want to thank my teammates and therefore also him. Milan were impressive [many believe that it was their best match so far this season]? The credit is not mine but instead should be shared with all the teammates. We hope that we can continue this way.
“The defeat to Lazio? Football is not just winning or losing, there are other factors and it is often full of obstacles. I did my job scoring the goals. Compared to the Lazio game, we moved in a different way and with a different attitude. We changed the tactics, chosen by Montella and the goals arrived.
“Kalinić? There is a good understanding and desire to score and play together. The important thing is the work of the team, it doesn’t matter who plays with me or in my place. We continue to work as a duo to find the right spaces and we continue to play in order to achieve these results.
“A hat-trick in Europe? Yes, I’m very happy to be closer to champions like Kaka and Shevchenko. A message from Cristiano Ronaldo? I haven’t looked at my phone yet…”