The Rossoneri fell 1-0 down after a Zito Luvumbo opener for the Rossoblu but they managed to turn things around after goals from Noah Okafor, Fikayo Tomori and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The win keeps Milan hot on the heels of league leaders Inter.
Milan’s next outing is against Lazio on September 30 before they travel to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund in their second Champions League group game. Both matches are key for Pioli and his squad, increasing the tension at Milanello.
Speaking to Sky Sports Italia via MilanNews.it, Pioli first reacted to Milan’s win over Cagliari.
“We had started the match well, we could have taken the lead but we weren’t concrete. Then we conceded a goal through carelessness. We did well to turn it around with our principles and win a game that was certainly not easy.”
He was asked if he wanted more options on the bench.
“I started with this objective and the club was good at satisfying me. I don’t have a lot of players and I prefer that, but I have a few ready to play.
“Maybe you can pay for that in the short term, but in the long term we will benefit with more motivated players and fewer injuries.
“It’s not that I will make the changes only because of the many games, but also to keep the level of the team high.”
He gave his thoughts on Loftus-Cheek’s performance.
“Ruben is a strong player, very complete, who gives us everything: passes, insertions, physique, loose balls. He’s very important, but he has to be managed as he hasn’t played much in recent years.”
The Rossoneri coach also had high praise for Yacine Adli, who is slowly breaking into the squad.
“He did well. I’m very happy for him. He has played this role since July 10 with a lot of willingness and a desire to improve, he always reviews his teammates’ performances in that role.
“He did many good things, other things he can do better, but it’s a performance that gives me the possibility to consider Adli in that role.”
Pioli analysed Milan’s performance against Cagliari.
“We played a game that wasn’t easy tactically. We had to be balanced to be dangerous, but some cracks showed. We controlled the game.
“Okafor had a very good game, he can play as a forward or as a winger in place of Leao. I have many flexible players, maybe only Chukwueze can play only on the right.
“Jovic, who gave me a good impression against Verona, is also recovering well.”
He touched on how the club can improve their defensive issues.
“In the first half we didn’t risk anything, except on the goal where we had to be more careful.
“In the second half we missed a few too many passes and conceded a little, but it’s not so easy to lead for 95 minutes. Then it is clear that we had to do better.”
He spoke about the work of Tijjani Reijnders.
“He’s a great player, I’d like him a bit more between the lines to slot in. He has an intelligence and a technical cleanliness…. He tried them out today. Musah can also play as a mezzala and that makes me feel comfortable replacing Krunic.”
Finally, Pioli discussed what Milan’s possible new stadium in San Donato could bring to the fans.
“I believe that the future of a great club passes through passion for San Siro, but it passes through innovation and an owned stadium. Italian football is behind. The new stadium will make the club even more glorious and competitive.”