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AC Milan

Pioli describes ‘joy’ of win over Empoli and discusses Milan’s injury situation

Following the dramatic 3-1 win over Empoli, AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli spoke to the media about his team’s performance. Even though there were many positives to touch on, there were also negatives. 

The likes of Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer and Alexis Saelemaekers all had to leave the pitch injured, as if the injury situation wasn’t already bad for Milan. However, they managed to somehow ride the storm.

Ante Rebic returned with a bang and Fode Ballo-Toure responded to the criticism, while Rafael Leao was his usual self. Speaking to Sky and DAZN after the game, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli shared his thoughts on various topics.

Is it the victory of the other Milan?

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“It is the victory of the group, of Milan, as always. We are a cohesive group, available, and eager to grow. Injuries can happen, but we move on because I’m lucky enough to have many players, all available, all inside the situation. Today there is joy.”

Leagues are also won in this way…

“Victory of will and spirit, but not because we knew the results of the others. It is too early. A new streak of the season began and we knew how important it was to win. Empoli played well and created difficulties for us. The match was great.”

News on the injured?

“Calabria and Kjaer are injuries to be evaluated, I think Davide’s is quite serious. Saelemaekers looks like a sprained collateral ligament, but let’s see. Kjaer had been with the national team, Calabria was fine. Muscle injuries have increased by 20% in general. We will have to be even more compact.”

Did the international break weigh on you?

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“Empoli made better use of the break, but we started the game very well, with clear and well-prepared ideas. I saw a team ready mentally and tactically, even if the goals and injuries put us in some difficulty. Krunic played in place of Saelemaekers. I liked the team.”

On Rebic’s goal…

“I saw the videos of Empoli beating the throw-ins quickly. You can win in many ways, it means believing in it until the end.”

On the goal of Ballo-Touré…

“He has a phenomenon in front of him and he has struggled to find space. He needed some time to settle in, but he was always available. I’m happy for him.”

Milan will face Chelsea on Wednesday and they will do it with a decimated squad. It will be a big challenge, in other words, and something for Pioli to really evaluate in terms of the tactics used. In any case, it will be an interesting game.

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