“I was sure we would have played a great game today, the team needed a break. The victory is a great signal that must guide us in the second part of the season,” Pioli told DAZN.
Rafael Leao, Ante Rebic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned after injuries and the Portuguese winger scored the third goal for the Rossoneri.
“Luckily, we are recovering a few players, Rebic didn’t play, but he is feeling better,” the coach added.
“It’s a pleasure to train these guys, they are always ready and willing to improve and work hard. I am satisfied with this game, but we need to remain focused because we have another crucial game in two days.”
Milan were without Fikayo Tomori, Alessio Romagnoli, Fode Ballo-Touré and Simon Kjaer in defence, Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessié in attack and Pietro Pellegri up front.
Kalulu and Gabbia played at centre-back and the Frenchman was praised by Pioli after the match.
“He has the perfect characteristics to play on the right in a three-man defence,” said Pioli.
“But his personality is incredible because he learns from his mistakes. He is intelligent and quick and I am not surprised by his performance because I know him well.
“He works hard and I am really happy for him and Gabbia because they played well against a great opponent.”
The 56-year-old also had words of praise for Sandro Tonali who played an “extraordinary game,” according to the Milan coach.
“I don’t know how many players born in 2000 play with the same personality. He was amazing in both phases, he has room for improvement and he must continue because he is proving to be an important player for us.”
However, Pioli urged his lad not to lose focus ahead of Sunday’s game against Venezia.
“It’s an important win only if we can do the same on Sunday,” the coach said.
“We have a target and it’s to get more points than last season. We had a good start, now we must continue and focus on the next match.”