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AC Milan

Pioli praises Milan’s three key qualities and insists the intention was to beat Juvenetus

Head coach Stefano Pioli has insisted that AC Milan went to Juventus looking for three points, but can be happy after a ‘positive performance’.

Milan’s perfect start to the Serie A season was ended by Juventus, but the Rossoneri did well to battle back and earn a welcome draw. It did not take long for the home side to take the lead as an early counter-attack was finished off with a cheeky dink from Alvaro Morata.

However, inside the final 15 minutes their plan would come unstuck as the big game man Ante Rebic popped up to head home from a corner and ultimately secure a share of the spoils.

Pioli was interviewed by DAZN at the end of the game and was asked about how his side managed to produce such a strong reaction having struggled for a foothold early in the game, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

“We came here to win the game, in the first minutes we found a better Juve than us. Then we improved, certainly much better in the second half. We tried to win it, it was a positive performance,” he said.

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Rebic now has two goals and two assists in the last three games against Lazio, Liverpool and Juventus.

“I give him credit every day, he has great intensity and quality. He plays in all the roles, he is helping us with Olivier and Ibra out. I think he has important playing qualities in his qualities that can help us break the games.”

On how much Milan missed having a striker, he added: “We did not perform lower than the previous games, we have to count the opponent’s value. We played good football. We conceded a goal in which we made mistakes, a goal that allowed Juve to defend low.

He went on to mention three key qualities: “There is no lack of ideas, willpower and team spirit: we tried to win the game and this is important.”

Did Milan have any difficulties with Rabiot’s movements?

“Yes, they worked very well on that side. They developed from there, the collaboration of Saelemaekers and Tomori in some cases had to be better. We didn’t start well, we could have done something more but they made excellent plays that missed our first pressure and we conceded something.”

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On the concept of his team now being smarter, Pioli responded: “I agree, that’s also what I told the team: we need to be aware. Last year to win games like that we almost had to hope for a miracle, but this year we know we can win them. Even tonight we were brave and in the long run we tried to win it.

“Today we played 48 minutes in effective time: we talk too much, we whistle too much. It depends on us, on our attitude, on the protests, on the referees. 48 minutes of actual time is too short, this also makes a difference in Europe. If we want to relate to other leagues then we try to grow all from this point of view.”

On the growth of young players: “I am very happy with these situations, I have always noticed great availability and desire to overcome difficult moments, even individual ones. They are tenacious and quality guys, when you work with this dedication then the satisfactions arrive.”

PLAYER RATINGS: Juventus 1-1 AC Milan – Rebic decisive again; Tonali a warrior


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