Pioli explains Milan mistakes against Liverpool

by | Sep 15, 2021 22:29

Stefano Pioli explains ‘the real regrets’ are the second half Liverpool goals after a 3-2 defeat at Anfield, as Milan ‘made mistakes’ that were avoidable at Champions League level.

The Rossoneri were hanging on in the first half-hour, going a goal down and seeing Mike Maignan save Mohamed Salah’s penalty, only to go into the break 2-1 up through Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz.

Salah equalised straight after the restart and Jordan Henderson decided it with a stunning half-volley from the edge of the box.

Champions League | Liverpool 3-2 Milan: Anfield thriller

“Liverpool deserve credit for their intensity and quality, above all in the first 25 minutes,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“We had been able to turn it around and the real regrets are the two goals we conceded in the second half. Along with Liverpool’s quality, we also made mistakes on those two goals. Hopefully, in future we’ll face teams with slightly less quality and won’t concede in those situations.”

It was Milan’s first match back in the Champions League for seven years and their first ever fixture played at Anfield in a cauldron of an atmosphere.

“This was a valuable lesson that will help us going forward. The team was motivated, we expected Liverpool to start strong, but were a bit too static and couldn’t get past their first press. When you don’t have the ball, you run into danger,” continued the coach.

“It was a very good game of football, it’s a pity we lost the game, because a strong start here would’ve been very important.”

Despite the defeat, there are many things that Milan and Pioli can be positive about after this opening game, especially as elsewhere in the group Atletico Madrid and FC Porto drew 0-0.

“I leave Anfield aware this team can grow more and we still need that extra step up in terms of details, because those are what make the difference in the Champions League.

“We lost because on a set play we cleared the ball to the edge of the box and that is not what we ought to be doing.”

Liverpool dominated possession and their press practically neutralised Milan for long periods, but the pace of their passing and runs were also remarkable.

“They were very careful covering the central areas and blocking the channels, so we kept getting pushed out wide and that makes for a less advantageous situation. Rebic managed to run at them a few times, but we didn’t always make the right runs.

“We know Liverpool make pace and intensity a big part of their game. We needed more movement off the ball to shake off our markers. When you are pressed so much, you need to pass the ball quicker and that’s what we got wrong.”

Pioli also outlined the defensive errors that he felt Milan should not be making at this level.

“What disappoints me and we must work on is that we can do better, because we allowed Liverpool some give and go situations that we usually defend better against. We could’ve created a lot more problems for the Liverpool forwards and made it more difficult for them.”

5 Comments

  1. Rosario

    With so many players making their debuts in this competition, personality and being able to impose ourselves was really the critical factors. We didn’t do it, didn’t have the intensity to bite at ankles when they were in possession, were pretty much always second best to second balls and just didn’t believe enough. I was convinced that if we tried to play, we’d hurt them. Just didn’t do it enough.

    Regardless, the biggest regret is the conceded goals. A deflection, indecision on the part of the keeper and then a worldly strike from a midfielder who hardly never scores. But the 3rd goal summed us up. Not quick enough to close down second balls.
    In order to grow, you have to suffer. And you also need your important players to perform. Kessie and calabria were particularly poor tonight. I did think though we deserved a pen on two defenders rugby mandhandling kessie.
    We leave with lots of regret.

  2. Trojan

    Proud of this team
    Proud of Milan

  3. Trojan

    After 1 half I wished Pioli could made
    4-5-1 ti defend result
    To stop those Liverpool Balerina
    They think they are Balerina

  4. Feroli

    Yes, lots of regrets. That should have been a point at least.

  5. DB Milan

    Clear penalty on Kessie in the 2nd half. How that wasn’t given but the Liverpool one was is beyond me. But, thats football. We’ll get them at San Siro.

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