Pioli: ‘Man Utd the right opponent for Milan, Kessié…’

Stefano Pioli says Manchester United were the perfect opponent for Milan and reveals what Franck Kessié said after a goal disallowed for a handball.

The Rossoneri picked up a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16.

"The team played with personality. We suffered in the difficult moments. We knew they have quality, but this performance must boost our self-confidence," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

Stefano Pioli says Manchester United were the perfect opponent for Milan and reveals what Franck Kessié said after a goal disallowed for a handball.

The Rossoneri picked up a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16.

"The team played with personality. We suffered in the difficult moments. We knew they have quality, but this performance must boost our self-confidence," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"When we were drawn with Manchester United I though they were the right opponent for us.

"We are working to improve and try to win again. We want to take Milan where we belong and these are the games where you can improve," he continued.

"We want to go all the way through and to do so we have to beat these teams.

"Today's result is positive, but we have another tough game ahead. The job is not done. They are a great team."

"I am satisfied. I keep repeating my players I am not training a regular group. This is an extraordinary group, under any aspect.

"When I see the lads give their soul to get a good result, I can only be happy. It's probably a result we would have accepted before the game. After it, I can say we may deserve something more, but it's a good result," Pioli said.

"The team's spirit was great, we wanted to dominate the game and give our best. We must have a high level of application to play as we do.

"We've been playing one game every four days since September, but these guys never give up. We must continue, it's a crucial part of the season.

"Now, we have three big games coming next: Napoli, Manchester United and Fiorentina. Then we'll have time to rest, at least those who won't join the national teams.

"Leao can improve, he has talent and quality and I like his commitment and desire to stay focused on the game, definitely more than last season."

Franck Kessie had a goal disallowed for a handball in the first half.

"That gold would have given us more strength, especially on a mental level. Franck is convinced he didn't touch the ball with his hand, but the referee thought otherwise," Pioli commented.

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