Pioli demands Rossoneri response ahead of Juventus test

By Sports Desk October 07, 2022

Stefano Pioli has called for Milan to respond to Wednesday's demoralising defeat at Chelsea when they host Juventus in a huge Serie A clash on Saturday.

Goals from Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reece James condemned Milan to their heaviest ever Champions League group-stage loss last time out, ensuring the Rossoneri remain third in Group E.

Milan have fared better on the domestic front, however, and sit four points clear of the under-fire Bianconeri in the early-season Serie A table.

Speaking at Friday's pre-match news conference, Pioli called for Milan to set their chastening defeat at Stamford Bridge aside as he demanded defensive improvements.  

"We put the game in London behind us straight away and we'll revisit it from Sunday onwards," Pioli said. "The players are eager to react. 

"This doesn't necessarily mean we'll win because the opponents exist too, but we won't be lacking in desire, motivation and determination.

"We've conceded a few too many goals. We can do better, and Chelsea did well to make the most of our mistakes the other night. 

"When there are simple situations, a team of our quality needs to be more attentive. We're a bit more of an attacking side than last year, but I don't think that it can be put down to this.

"Often, we have the numerical superiority, and we can interpret certain situations better."

Milan's last home outing saw them lose to Serie A leaders Napoli, ending a six-match winning streak at San Siro in the competition. The Rossoneri have never lost successive home league games under Pioli.

Meanwhile, Pioli has defended young forward Charles De Ketelaere, who has yet to score since joining from Club Brugge, comparing his early struggles to those of Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali.

"He's on the right path, and I'm happy with what he's doing. I remember Rafa three years ago and Tonali in his first year," Pioli said.

"Many were quick to criticise them and question their qualities. Charles is talented and needs time to adapt and learn about certain situations, but he's on the right path."

Although Juventus have made an underwhelming start to the new campaign, they have lost just four Serie A games in 2022, and Pioli expects a stern test.

"During a season, there are two or three games that carry more weight, and going up against Juventus is of particular importance for many reasons," Pioli said.

"We're all responsible for the performance in London, and we're determined to show that we're a different team compared to the one that showed up on Wednesday."

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