Pioli defines Tonali strengths and Milan belief in Scudetto

by | May 8, 2022 22:07

Stefano Pioli describes Sandro Tonali’s strengths, how unpicking Verona tactically could be used against Atalanta and how Milan developed their ‘courage and belief’ in the Scudetto dream.

It was a rough start at the Bentegodi when Tonali’s opener was ruled offside and Marco Davide Faraoni instead put Verona in front.

However, Tonali got on the end of another two Rafael Leao assists and Alessandro Florenzi came off the bench to seal the 3-1 victory.

Serie A | Verona 1-3 Milan: Birthday boy Tonali conquers the Bentegodi

“I am in love with my players, because I see the effort they put in every day, I know the journey we’ve been on. There’s another very tough one coming up, so we’re satisfied yes, but already need to find concentration for the next,” Pioli told DAZN.

This allows the Rossoneri to retain their two-point lead at the top of the table over Inter, and is their 10th victory of the season coming back from a trailing situation.

“Courage and belief come from your experience and your performances. For example, not taking the lead after 25 minutes, we didn’t feel anxious, because we knew that we were playing well and kept that spirit going to the end.

“This squad has step by step climbed the ladder, we’ve got to keep this concentration, determination and belief going for the final two games.”

Theo Hernandez was cutting inside more than usual, is that to counter Verona’s three-man defence and could it be used again with Atalanta next week?

“I think we played one of our best performances for 70-80 minutes against Atalanta last time, but they are one of the best squads in the league. They have a similar tactical approach to Verona, so it’s important to find the right characteristics within our squad to neutralise those strengths.”

Tonali had the best performance of his career, scoring two goals and having a third chalked offside, all on his 22nd birthday.

“He is young, but so strong. I said after two days of pre-season training, he was completely different to last term. These are young lads, many of us are experiencing this level for the first time and doing it in the right way, but we haven’t achieved anything yet.

“When coaches say it takes time to build a team, we also mean just getting to know our players and finding those characteristics that can be used. When we have two midfielders, we can attack more down the wings, whereas like this we can allow Tonali to surge forward and use the way he times those runs.

“The first day, I asked Sandro what his ideal position was, he said ‘people compare me to Andrea Pirlo, but I consider myself more of a Gennaro Gattuso.’ I think if we add in Daniele De Rossi to that mix, that completes him.”

Milan take on Atalanta next and this is a special fixture for Pioli and the Rossoneri.

“We are in the final stages. I think this Milan was born during the horrible, humiliating 5-0 defeat to Atalanta. That was when we realised what was needed to develop this team. It was one of the most negative moments of my career, but also one of the most valuable.”


  1. Godey

    Sorry, your Scudetto hopes are over. Better luck in 3022. Hakan will be very happy for his friends at Milan. Forza Milan.

  2. Soul


  3. Kayfabu

    God will punish u,useless inter fan

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Club by Club News