Stefano Pioli outlines how Milan handled the ever-changing Napoli techniques, why enjoying as a centre-back improved Theo Hernandez and the futility of Scudetto regrets.
The Rossoneri had not received this fixture at San Siro in Serie A since December 2014, together with three defeats within the final three encounters, so it was to not be taken with no consideration.
Milan have as many factors after 24 rounds as they did at this stage throughout the Scudetto-winning marketing campaign, the one distinction being that Inter and Juventus have carried out much better.
“I don’t know if that is the very best we might’ve carried out. We’ve been doing nicely within the final month and a half, virtually on the stage of an Inter aspect who’re having an unbelievable marketing campaign,” Pioli informed DAZN.
“There’s no level trying again, we’ve got to maneuver ahead, attempt to preserve choosing up factors in Serie A and within the Europa League. That won’t be straightforward, because the assets will likely be stretched.”
Whereas Napoli had an enormous double likelihood within the ultimate minute, together with Jan-Carlo Simic risking an personal aim off the upright, Milan had wasted alternatives to double their lead earlier.
“We are going to analyse the match fastidiously, however we all know that video games are by no means fully over with us. It was in a means good that we received like this, as a result of we confirmed nice defensive solidity and willpower to win the sport. That is a vital signal.”
Davide Calabria limped off with a muscular downside within the first half, whereas Ismael Bennacer had cramp when he was substituted late on. Can both of them get well to face Rennes within the Europa League play-off on Thursday?
“Isma was simply drained, I feel, as in any case he was coming off an damage and the Africa Cup of Nations. Calabria has an adductor concern, we’ll see over the subsequent few days. Malick Thiaw returns, however I doubt he will likely be out there from the beginning.
“We need to get a bonus within the first leg of that tie for the journey to France.”
Napoli shifted techniques a number of occasions throughout the sport, beginning with a brand new 3-5-1-1 that had Kvicha Kvaratskhelia given a free function behind striker Giovanni Simeone.
“Mazzarri had additionally chosen a three-man defence in earlier video games, then surprisingly returned to 4 towards Verona, so to be trustworthy we weren’t positive how they had been going to play.
“I feel we had good positions within the first half and closed the areas, then once they moved to 4-3-3 created a number of extra harmful conditions, pushing the midfielders up too.
“We had been ready for each programs, however I feel we should always’ve been extra aggressive towards their four-man defence. We sat a bit too deep and that’s harmful once they have that a lot high quality in assault.
“I had many conferences with the gamers over the previous couple of weeks, demanding they present extra focus and be extra strong in defence, much less prepared to instantly press excessive. The strikers additionally must ship the sign and spark attacking strikes to be accompanied.
“Tonight’s Milan was balanced, organised and above all labored laborious, as Napoli compelled us to work laborious, and we didn’t maintain again. Maintaining a clear sheet in these circumstances ought to give us extra confidence going ahead.”
Theo Hernandez is trying again to his greatest marauding down the left flank after a few months filling in as a central defender.
“Theo had put himself at our disposal as a central defender and he did it very nicely certainly, however naturally he has such an awesome rapport with Leao down the left, they know one another so nicely, can sniff one another out.”
The France worldwide has proven a newfound maturity this season and Pioli believes he can continue to grow.
“I feel Theo struggled final season to recover from the frustration of the World Cup Last defeat, the pressure of a match that was in the midst of the season. I used to be unsure how he could be mentally this season, however he was very constructive. He has develop into a pacesetter for this crew, not one who talks that a lot, however along with his angle.
“I feel the video games he performed as a centre-back additionally confirmed him how way more centered, aggressive and vital he may be when defending, and he’s taking that into his function as a left-back now.”
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) February 11, 2024