Pioli frustrated by AC Milan profligacy

By Sports Desk November 10, 2019

Stefano Pioli rued AC Milan's profligacy in the 1-0 defeat to Juventus, especially given he felt his side "were at least on a par" with the Serie A leaders.

Milan put in one of their better performances of the season at Allianz Stadium but a mixture of questionable finishing and excellent goalkeeping from Wojciech Szczesny proved the Rossoneri's undoing as substitute Paulo Dybala scored a 77th-minute winner.

Head coach Pioli was unable to hide his frustration and urged Milan to be more clinical following Sunday's loss in Turin.

"We were at least on a par with our opponents, if not more, but if you don't turn those chances into goals, you are going to pay," Pioli, whose side are 14th, told Sky Sport Italia in quotes reported by Football Italia.

"We've got to keep working and improving. Our current position is unworthy of Milan and that must keep us worried and concentrated at all times.

"Unfortunately, it's the same thing I said last Sunday after Lazio, which is that we had the opportunities and I don't think many have 15 shots on goal the way we did at the Juventus Stadium, but we need to convert more of them.

"We also conceded a goal when we should've been tighter in our defending and marking. I can only underline that the performance is good, but we need the results too. We have to improve our position in the table, it's time to take some punches and work hard.

"I see improvements every day, I saw them in recent matches, as we were by no means inferior to Lazio or Juventus. We must understand that at this level, every single ball can be decisive.

"We haven't had as many points as we expected, nor as many as we probably deserved lately, but the performances have been there."

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    The 27-year-old enjoyed another fine campaign, scoring four goals and tallying 11 assists, having contributed 10 goals and 13 assists across all competitions last season.

    Bobic was asked about the future of Kostic and he said: "Filip is happy here. He feels very comfortable with us, but it may also be that we are ready to release him.

    "That depends not only on us, but also on the player. But I can imagine that he will play here next season: fans happy, players happy, me happy."

    Bobic, who sanctioned the big-money departures of Luka Jovic (Real Madrid) and Sebastien Haller (West Ham) at the start of the season as Eintracht made significant profits, is anticipating a difficult transfer period due to the COVID-19 crisis.

    "The goal was clearly to break the €300million mark in the 2019-20 season," he said. "But suddenly there was a stop sign at €280m."

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    "We have to be patient, it will be tough and long. It won't be an easy time. We already have a few players we would like to sign but if the money is not there, you cannot buy."

    Bobic – who is also planning to offer head coach Adi Hutter a new contract – was also asked about Ante Rebic and loanee Andre Silva.

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    "Andre knows that we are happy with him. He is also happy to be here in Frankfurt and can imagine staying longer."

  • 'I do not feel like a sacrificial victim' – Milan boss Pioli responds to Rangnick rumours 'I do not feel like a sacrificial victim' – Milan boss Pioli responds to Rangnick rumours

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    A heartbreaking stoppage-time own goal from Francesco Vicari gifted Milan a dramatic equaliser in Wednesday's 2-2 Serie A draw at lowly 10-man SPAL.

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    After Rafael Leao and an own goal salvaged a point for Milan, attention turned to Pioli and ongoing talk regarding Rangnick.

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    Asked about his future and the Rangnick rumours post-game, Pioli – who was only appointed in October after Marco Giampaolo's sacking – told Sky Italia: "I am working with passion and professionalism, I love these players, they are giving me a lot.

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    Milan coach Stefano Pioli has backed his players to recover their spark against Lazio on Saturday after a sluggish 2-2 draw against Serie A strugglers SPAL.

    Pioli blamed fatigue as Milan needed an injury-time own goal to secure a point at the Stadio Paolo Mazza on Wednesday with lowly SPAL having played the majority of the contest with 10 men.

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    Milan were much improved after veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench just after the hour to make his first appearance since March.

    Although Pioli felt his tactics throughout were unfortunate not to deliver victory as the draw left Milan two points behind sixth-placed Napoli in the battle for a Europa League group-stage spot.

    He continued: "Our approach was not wrong, but the game was tough after we made two careless mistakes.

    "We had controlled the game and created several goalscoring chances. There was even time for us to score a winning third goal, but we just failed."

    Milan striker Ante Rebic had an off night but Pioli refused to criticise the Croatia international.

    "He had his chances," he added. "Maybe today he was less brilliant. Fatigue can be felt."

    SPAL coach Luigi Di Biagio acknowledged the dismissal of D'Alessandro on the stroke of half-time "affected" his side.

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    "As long as we are alive, I will believe it until the end," Di Biagio said. 

    "Three games await us that will give us a clearer idea of things. We hope to close the gap in the table."

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