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AC Milan

Pioli names three qualities Milan continued from derby win and praises Giroud for overcoming ‘problems’

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has admitted that his side were able to ride the confidence from the derby win against Inter to brush Lazio aside in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

After Inter beat Roma 2-0 at San Siro last night the Rossoneri knew that they had the chance to set up a semi-final against their city rivals but they first had to beat a tricky Lazio side who came into the game off the back of a run of clean sheets.

However, it was a job very well done for Milan in the end as they went in 3-0 up at the break following a goal from Rafael Leao then another quick brace from Olivier Giroud, before Franck Kessie added some extra gloss to the scoreline in the 80th minute.

At the end of the match Pioli spoke to Mediaset about the performance he saw from his side, the stand-out performers during the game and the prospect of playing two more derbies against Inter in March and April, with MilanNews relaying his comments.

On today’s match: “We took advantage of the victory in the derby to gain energy, confidence and conviction. The atmosphere is positive, the team played well, stayed in the game with concentration and quality for ninety minutes.”

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On Giroud: “He had a lot of problems in the beginning – back, ankle and other situations – but now he is better physically and mentally. He is a strong centre-forward, but I think the work of the whole team was important today. We have been dangerous, that’s what we must continue to do.”

On the Coppa Italia semi-final derby: “They are always very particular matches to prepare, but very stimulating to face. Both teams will want to try to win, we will give our all against a very strong opponent.

“The fans push us with great enthusiasm, we don’t care much about what the others are doing. They will be two difficult and stimulating challenges.”

On the next league match: “We have to face Sampdoria carefully, who are doing well with Giampaolo. There will be many difficulties. We are interpreting the week well, but we have to do the race on ourselves. We want to improve on last year’s points, we cannot determine what the other teams will do. We can determine our results.”

On the forwards available: “If we have different characteristics it is important, with the five substitutions you can change the games. With more resources the team can achieve important results. Difficult choices are welcome.”

On how Ibra is feeling at the moment: “With a lot of suffering, he knows that we are in the important moment of the season and would like to help his team-mates, he is doing it with his attitude and his charisma, we hope he will be back as soon as possible, we need his quality and his goals. It is the spirit that accompanies this group that is making the difference.”

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RATINGS: AC Milan 4-0 Lazio – Giroud with another brace; Leao shines


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