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AC Milan

Pioli praises ‘maturity’ in Lazio win and admits ‘some players who don’t play are angry’

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli praised his side for showing their ‘maturity’ during Wednesday night’s Coppa Italia quarter-final victory against Lazio.

Rafael Leao opened the scoring and Olivier Giroud scored twice inside five minutes just before the break to put the game beyond the away side, with Franck Kessie getting the Rossoneri’s fourth in the second half to set up a semi-final clash against rivals Inter over two legs. Pioli spoke to Milan TV (via MilanNews) after the game to reflect on the result.

On the match against Lazio and the feelings after the derby…

“The team has shown maturity once again. The positivity of the environment could either distract us or give us a higher charge. We were good at taking energy from this moment and from the 27,000 fans at the stadium,” he said.

“They worked well on the pitch and have fun and this is the important thing. Now we have to stay focused because we have Sampdoria who will be a difficult opponent also because we have spent a lot in these last two games.”

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On the double derby in the semis…

“They are wonderful matches both to play and to prepare. They will be two important matches that will decide the finalist of the Coppa Italia. We face a strong opponent and we will face him with our qualities and our characteristics trying to give everything.”

On the joy of the fans…

“Seeing our fans so proud and happy is wonderful. The credit goes to the whole environment. The club is working very well and the positive environment helps us. There is still a lot to do, in the league we have the same points as last year and we want to improve. The semifinal will be an important appointment so head down and ride with these attitudes.”

On competition within the squad…

“Some players who don’t play are angry but I think it’s right. We have strong players who are giving me everything in training in preparation for the match .. The good of the team, however, comes before individual interests and this the boys know. player greets me a little less, my shoulders are broad, the important thing is the availability to the team.”

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On the team’s tactical ideas…

“It is all the result of the experience we have had. We have found defences closed, open and waiting for us. Our technical-tactical background has grown and this awareness is important. There are many things that we need to improve.”

READ MORE: Milan full of confidence and destroy Lazio with speed, rhythm and vertical play

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