Pioli: ‘Milan are ready, I’m always happy with Brahim’

epa09426713 Milan's Italian coach Stefano Pioli during the Italian Serie A soccer match UC Sampdoria and AC Milan at Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa, Italy, 23 August 2021. EPA-EFE/SIMONE ARVEDA

Stefano Pioli said this Milan are ‘the most ready’ during his time at the club, praised Brahim Diaz and was ‘happy to have won’ against a solid Sampdoria on Monday.

The coach was happy to have secured three points on the opening day, as the Rossoneri return to Milanello with all the spoils thanks to Brahim Diaz’s match winning goal.

Sampdoria 0-1 Milan: Brahim Diaz grabs the winner

“Sampdoria played a good game defensively,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia. “Lowering Diaz gave us a superiority in the middle to not always give the ball away.

“I’m happy to have won and to have chased the second goal. Aside from [Franck] Kessie’s injury, I knew we had prepared well. We won a match suffering.”

The new No. 10, Brahim Diaz, impressed with a lively performance and grabbed the match winning goal on Monday night.

“It’s clear that everyone thinks of his performance against Juventus,” Pioli said. “At the time I had made more of a tactical choice.

“I’m always happy with him. He has personality and believes a lot in himself. He has everything to maintain this position.

“We are becoming a strong team with a lot of competitiveness in the group.”

The Rossoneri coach then talks about the future targets for the Rossoneri.

“It was great to see the fans again, because we knew they would welcome us with enthusiasm,” he said. “We know so many ways to play. It’s the spirit that makes the difference.

“I explained my thoughts to the team, because I too am stronger than two years ago. Maybe the right word is ready, this is the most ready Milan.

“There’s a lot of balance now. I don’t like limitations. know I coach a strong team. Just think of the players who were out tonight.”

Pioli then explained his tactics against Roberto D’Aversa’s men in the opening game.

“We tried to build with high full-backs and the midfielders had to help us,” he said. “[Alexis] Saelemaekers knows how to move between the lines, but he must learn to be decisive.

“I like how the team interpreted the game. As soon as we scored in the first half, we played a little to keep the ball. This is not our football.

“We have always looked for the goal and this is the right mentality.”

Brahim Diaz: ‘A good performance’

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