Marco Giampaolo felt it was “Milan’s best performance of the season so far, but we didn’t take our chances to kill it off” in a 2-1 loss to Torino.
Krzysztof Piatek had put the Rossoneri in front from the penalty spot, but Andrea Belotti bagged a brace in five minutes to turn it all around.
“The game was under our control, we just didn’t have the clinical edge to kill it off. We ran barely any risks until that goal and then in four minutes, the whole match changed,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“We had the opportunities to score again with Piatek and (Franck) Kessie, so we created the chances. There were errors, but it was Milan’s best performance of the season so far and we dominated for long periods. Clearly, the defeat is not good enough.
“It disappoints me because the team works hard and does all it can, so when results don’t come, that is disappointing. They are trying to work as a team and follow the plan rather than just go off individually.
“It was an undeserved defeat and clearly that slows down the growth process, our self-esteem, but I have seen that this is a good squad and I hope they don’t lose heart.
“I have a solid group of good lads and I cannot complain. Even those who are most criticised are real leaders. There are moments when a player is in better shape. We knew Theo Hernandez and Ismael Bennacer had talent, this is not a surprise.
“I am convinced the squad can continue, despite this setback, to stay on the right track.”
Giampaolo was asked about some of his substitutions, above all removing Rafael Leao to introduce Jack Bonaventura on his comeback from 11 months out.
“I wanted to maintain quality in attack with Bonaventura and not go too deep. I told the team not to lose control of the game or turn it into a battle, because Torino like that situation and we have the advantage if we play clean football and not go shoulder-to-shoulder.
“We still make a few too many mistakes in our passing, perhaps because we try to be too hasty. I really liked Suso this evening, he was collaborative and worked well both on and off the ball.
“Leao is a sprinter, he doesn’t have much stamina and you can’t really ask him to keep tracking back. He seemed tired and Bonaventura could guarantee me quality there.”
Pepe Reina was sent off for dissent from the bench after the equaliser, as Milan felt Tomas Rincon had fouled Hakan Calhanoglu in the build-up.
“On the equaliser, there could well have been a foul given for Rincon on Calhanoglu. These are all minor incidents that can turn a game, but controlling the match is the thing that really makes the difference.
“This team has to improve and increase its possession statistics. We did well tonight, everything we hadn’t done in the previous four games, but lacked the final blow to kill the game.”
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