Pioli: “We missed that little something to bring home a result that would have been deserved, we had the right spirit”

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Stefano Pioli during Juventus-Milan at Allianz Stadium on November 10, 2019. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

Stefano Pioli was disappointed with the defeat against Juventus, as he thinks even a draw would have been important for the morale of the team.

Milan played their best seasonal match of last night, but as happened so often at the Allianz Stadium, the Rossoneri deserved points but returned home empty handed.

The Diavolo had several scoring chances, especially in the first half, but were characteristically wasteful. Juve were relatively poor, but their immense quality on the bench ultimately made the difference as Douglas Costa and Paulo Dybala won the game for them, with the Argentine, who replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in the 55′ minute, scoring the winner in the 77′ minute.

“It’s a pity because the performance was there,” Pioli told MilanTV. “It goes to show that at this level, we still need that bit more and we need to find it within ourselves. Our performances are improving and we had the right spirit, we were a match for a very strong opponent. At the moment, definitely stronger than us. However, we were still lacking that extra quality, accuracy and attention. And it cost us in the end. A positive result would have been important especially for morale.

“We did what we had prepared. We had sever chances and when matches are so tight, the incidents decide. Just before the conceded goal we had the ball to go on goal, but we didn’t succeed. We need to important our standings. We must also be worried, we must return to winning. This cannot be our place in the standing.”

Douglas Costa and Paulo Dybala celebrating during Juventus-Milan at Allianz Stadium on November 10, 2019. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to Sky, Pioli said: “The result was missing, because the performance was there, we were at least on par with our opponents, if not more. It’s clear that if you don’t score, then a team like Juventus can find a [winning] play. It’s a shame because the guys put in an important performance. We have to work and grow because the standings is not ‘da Milan’.

“Solutions to find? In all games we try to find solutions, we have chosen to tighten up more so as not to let them play. Sometimes in the first half there was a lack of breadth. After the entrance of Bonaventura, it was to play a little more on Pjanić and to cover the wings.

“I think we played a game with great intensity and we played ball-on-ball against a very strong opponent. We still need that extra something in many situations to allow us to win the games. Unfortunately, it’s the same thing I said last Sunday after Lazio, which is that we had the opportunities and I don’t think many have 15 shots on goal the way we did at the Juventus Stadium. We have to live for the goal because we have to win games. We also conceded a goal when we should’ve been tighter in our defending and marking. I can only underline that the performance is good, but we need the results too.

Suso, Blaise Matuidi and Alex Sandro during Juventus-Milan on November 10, 2019 at Allianz Stadium. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

“The standings? From Wednesday on, the standings will be outside of Milanello. We need to improve it. It’s time to take some punches and work hard. I see improvements every day, I saw them in recent matches, as we were by no means inferior to Lazio or Juventus. We must understand that at this level, every single ball can be decisive.

“It’s not so easy to play against Juventus, we played it well. We had a great opportunity, a draw would not have changed the standings but we would have the morale of a very young team. There will be other games where we will have to demonstrate this personality and greater quality to return to winning.

“The offensive phase? Matches are decided in the penalty area, but it’s important to create. We are not in a great moment but the guys have shown that they believe. The winning jab has been missed. We haven’t had as many points as we expected, nor as many as we probably deserved lately, but the performances have been there

“A three-man defense as a solution? I don’t think so.”

Gonzalo Higuaín and Rade Krunić during Juventus-Milan on November 10, 2019 at Allianz Stadium. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

Pioli also had a post-match press conference: “What do I have to say to the team? That we have to insist because the performance was positive, but that is not enough to bring home a positive result.

“The reasons that cause goals to be conceded in the last minutes? We have to stay more compact and focused. In the second half maybe we stretched too far. The photograph of our current situation was the moment when Bonaventura had a ball that a player of level usually doesn’t make mistakes on. We conceded a minute later. We have to improve, we missed that little something to bring home a result that would have been deserved. I have to ask for more. Milan must not be here, it must be clear to everyone. We have to get out of this situation, we have the qualities to do it.

Theo Hernández and Rodrigo Bentancur during Juventus-Milan on November 10, 2019 at Allianz Stadium. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

“If the team is lacking ‘nastiness’? The team fought, won battles, going elbow-to-elbow with an opponent superior to us at the moment. We lacked a bit of determination and attention to go ahead and not to concede a goal by Dybala. Everyone worked well for the team, even those who are more players of quality.

“If the standings worries? You have to worry, because concern brings attention and will allow us to do our best. From Wednesday, the standings will be hanging anywhere in Milanello. If the team played well because they had nothing to lose? A positive result would have meant so much, even if it partial, not for the standings… On the commitment, spirit and desire to fight on a part with a stronger opponent than us, I can’t blame the team for anything.”

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Baresis Dream
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Baresis Dream

Definitely had the right spirit; if only we can play every match like it’s a match against Juve

soheil balini
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soheil balini

Beside the spirit I saw more simple formation in this game. We played the simple 4-3-3. No shift to 3 defense no rotation in midfield. That is the reason that player like conti played better. He is dumbing down or tactics so our young players understand it. 4-3-3. Counter, pressing and fast passes. Good thing about Pioli is that he is a fast learner and he change things when they are not working. I’m excited to see his solution for our striking problems. (We need some Miracle but if he can make Hakan & Conti better players, he probably can… Read more »

nick
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nick

The team is improving and Pioli is doing the best he can. I can’t complain about Pioli because the problem is bigger than him and that blame must fall on those above him, Maldini and co. Milan lacks quality players plain and simple. Not old experience players who are past their prime but quality players under age 31. We started this season with one quality striker Piatek. There’s too much pressure on Piatek and it is not fair for him to carry the team with goals. We need at least 2 more quality strikers, an AM and Mezzala who can… Read more »

soheil balini
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soheil balini

Now that you are calming down, you make A LOT more sense 🙂 I agree. Lets keep Pioli and buy some good players (not old. I don’t want another Biglia situation)

O'Gabb's
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Well said @soheil. nick my friend has been ranting unnecessarily lately

OmarLittle
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OmarLittle

I agree with almost everything you wrote but the truth is that Piatek is not a quality striker he is a one season wonder and it was a big gamble to pay 35M for him when he hadnt proved himself fully yet

Alvin
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Alvin

You are right and wrong at the same time… Piatek is not a one season player but our team is lacking a lot we went for imobile we didn’t get him same with beloti even sensi mehn bro don’t blame any player but the board… Thank you

Baresis Dream
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Baresis Dream

Milan lacks quality players, plain and simple.

Rickaka22
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Rickaka22

Well we played well. Though we still need to improve on our focus and finishing.