Pioli: ‘Milan deserve credit and celebrate Champions League place’

Lazio Milan

Stefano Pioli celebrates Milan’s comeback against Lazio and Champions League qualification, insisting his players ‘don’t get enough credit’ for their achievements, but the Scudetto is still within reach.

The Diavolo have already achieved their stated target by qualifying mathematically for the 2022-23 Champions League campaign.

It also keeps the Scudetto race alive, because the comeback win with Olivier Giroud and Sandro Tonali cancelled out the Ciro Immobile opener.

Inter have a game in hand, but that is a tricky trip to Bologna on Wednesday evening and nothing is to be taken for granted at this stage.

Serie A | Lazio 1-2 Milan: Tonali keeps Scudetto race alive

Director Paolo Maldini ran down from the stands to hug his coach and players, while the embrace between Pioli and Tonali also showed how much it meant.

“It’s only right to be happy and satisfied with this game and our fans, who once again proved themselves fantastic,” Pioli told DAZN.

“I am so proud of my players and if I was in their shoes, I’d be angry, as people don’t give them enough credit. For years they have been proving themselves at the highest level.

“We will try to win all the remaining games, we might not achieve that, but we will give it our best.

“Strangely, we started the game badly and conceded an avoidable goal, but we showed our ability to get back on track, stay in the game and keep going. Lazio caused us problems, as they are a fine team, but this was another important step forward.

“We know it’s a tricky fixture list, all we can do is take it one game at a time and try to do the best we possibly can.”

Tonali is more of a defensive midfielder, but he pushed forward and finished off the move from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic knockdown.

“We moved the full-backs further forward in the second half, Tonali was meant to sit deeper, but when you feel that moment, you have to take it. I told my players to be determined, ferocious and create that moment.

“We showed once again that we believed all the way to the end, because we felt that we could win it and created so many chances.”

Milan always said their aim for the season was to finish in the top four and that has now been achieved with a month to spare.

“The important thing is we are in the Champions League. This time last season, we weren’t sure if we would be in the top four, so this shows further progress.

“There are still some steps to climb, but those are the ones that will give us the greatest satisfaction. You won’t find a squad with such a low average age in Serie A challenging for the Scudetto, but they are all captains, they put so much passion and positivity into their work, we need to enjoy it.”

There are also veterans in the squad like Giroud and Ibrahimovic who can lead the way.

“We are talking about a World Cup winner who has played at the highest level. He is a top level player and person, so a really smart signing.”

While Inter face Bologna on Wednesday, Milan will play Fiorentina next weekend.

“Fiorentina are strong, quick, intense and motivated too after their defeat to Salernitana today. I told the lads if we end the season with 86 points, that’s the most we could possibly do. It’s an unpredictable league, just look at what happened today with Napoli losing in Empoli after leading 2-0. All we can do is give our best.”

Pioli was asked if the squad suffered a psychological blow from the 2-0 Coppa Italia semi-final defeat to Inter.

“There was disappointment, there’s no denying it, as we know how important the derby is and we wanted to reach the Coppa Italia Final. We have always got back on our feet after a disappointment and used that energy for the next test, so it’s what we will continue to do.”

5 Comments on “Pioli: ‘Milan deserve credit and celebrate Champions League place’”

  1. Susi is finally happy. But forgot that her team lost 3-0 and not 2-0 in Coppa Italian semi finale.
    Susy you are a pathetic Inter hater.

  2. @Arber

    It’s is utterly meaningless to bring up the result again against inter we the only focus is and shall be on the league now. If it wouldn’t be for the fact that you had 373747 calls your way this season and Milan 4738373 against going our way this league would have been done by now

  3. First two posters have both used a word that has gotten posts deleted for me in the past, and they’re using it in the invective when I have never done so.

    Why???

  4. Too far arber, if you don’t like it don’t visit the site. FI do a great job and there’s nothing else like it for English speaking fans. Don’t spoil it.

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