The Rossoneri conceded an early Leo Ostigard header and risked more with poor defending on set plays, but Olivier Giroud’s looping header on a Theo Hernandez cross forced extra time.
“Evidently I didn’t do a good job, because we had the wrong approach from the start. We didn’t have the right determination and that is my fault, because we lacked intensity, tempo and made the situation more complicated for ourselves,” Pioli told Sport Mediaset.
“We wanted to get through and managed to get it back on track, so it’s important we won the game, but we’ll have to work better in future.”
Pioli was asked if the issue might be the lop-sided nature of Milan’s attack down the left, where Theo Hernandez and Leao are unstoppable.
“I think we put in some interesting balls from the right too. Naturally, on the left we have different characteristics and players who are good at one-on-one situations, whereas it’s more about the movement on the right to create the space.
“I do think the team is balanced, but the problem today was the entire team had the wrong approach and lacked intensity. That means my preparation was not optimal and I have to do better.”
There was also a very long list of absentees that Pioli had to deal with and the situation got worse when Fikayo Tomori went off in the opening 20 minutes.
“November was very difficult with injuries and we paid a price for that, as in the long-run the same ones had to keep playing every game and got fatigued. It’s all a bit strange now with COVID, waiting for test results, but we proved once again that you can change a game with players off the bench, so the more players at our disposal, the better.”
Tomori will have tests tomorrow on his left knee, but is there any early news on the extent of the injury?
“He felt a twinge in his knee, so couldn’t carry on. Fik is a very important player for us and I hope it’s nothing serious, it’d be good if we had him available from Monday.”
Olivier Giroud equalises with a towering header! 👏
Milan are back on level terms but now can they get a winner? 🔴⚫ pic.twitter.com/AkFhgrFC1m
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) January 13, 2022