Vincenzo Montella believes a setback “did us good,” as Milan flattened Austria Vienna 5-1. “The hat-trick will boost Andre Silva’s confidence.”
The Rossoneri have won all five of their Europa League games this season, including the preliminary rounds, but this was their first match since the 4-1 Serie A loss at the Olimpico.
“Sunday’s defeat to Lazio was weighing on us, but today I liked the spirit and interpretation of the game,” Montella told Sky Sport Italia.
“The side played with pace, got the result under lock and key by half-time, then we saw the willingness to suffer and be solid. There was a slight drop in concentration levels after the restart, so we need to work on that, but we are happy with this victory.”
This was the first really successful test for the 3-5-2 formation, though Hakan Calhanoglu had a free role.
“We built this squad thinking of a three-man defence, but had to wait until Alessio Romagnoli was fully recovered.”
While Calhanoglu was inspirational, Andre Silva was the star of the show with a hat-trick.
“Silva is hungry and he scores goals. Today he was able to make the most of his characteristics, attacking the space. He seemed much better than in other games and this will really boost his confidence. He needed that.
“Calhanoglu had a great performance, he played vertical passes and set up goals for his teammates. We worked on the strikers pressing the opposition, and were more determined tonight.
“I think the defeat to Lazio did us good and we’ve got to feed this determination throughout the campaign.
“In other matches this season, we didn’t finish the job and therefore left the door open to our opponents. Tonight we changed that. It’s important to focus on mental strength and concentration throughout a game.”