Stefano Pioli sees the 3-2 win at Bologna not as a turning point for Milan, but another step in their progress. “We’ve got quality, but must combine it with intensity.”
There is definitely progress, as this was their best performance of the season so far and a second consecutive victory after a 1-0 win at Parma last week.
The tactician consolidated the identity of this team by keeping the same XI and was rewarded by Krzysztof Piatek breaking his drought with a penalty, followed by Theo Hernandez and Giacomo Bonaventura strikes.
Milan are now in joint ninth place with Torino, only one point adrift of Napoli and Parma, who go head-to-head next week.
“The objective is the next game, that is all. We have to build on the positive sensations, it was a great game between two attacking teams who wanted to score goals,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“This is just another reason to believe even more in our capabilities, as with the quality we have, matched with the right intensity, we can keep growing.”
Piatek not only earned and converted a penalty, but also had several chances and constantly kept the Bologna defence under pressure.
“He was a very important reference point tonight. We knew Bologna would press us high, so we’d have to put it long and he held the ball up really well. Kris too will emerge from this evening with more confidence.”
Left-back Theo Hernandez is remarkably the joint Milan top scorer with four goals in 12 Serie A games.
“I think Theo has really good timing of his forward runs, strong physicality and an elegant foot. He’s the kind of player who can break opposition defensive balances if he has space in front of him. We can release him if we are balanced elsewhere and push the whole team forward, which lately we are doing.
“It’s good to see so many players pushing forward, as we should always have this attitude. Quality is important, but everyone is now working for the team, sacrificing themselves and it’s no coincidence that we are getting the results now.
“The movement off and on the ball has been good, we’ve got the players to provide some quality football, as long as we combine it with intensity.
“We should’ve finished this game off earlier, because when it went to 3-2, anything could happen, but we showed that we are on the right track.”
There were emotional scenes before kick-off, as this was Sinisa Mihajlovic’s first game back on the touchline since his bone marrow transplant.
“I was very happy to see him. I wanted to hug him, but Sinisa said best we don’t (due to a depleted immune system), it was still a lovely moment. I hope he’s on the road to a full recovery now. It touched me, just having that moment together, it really did.”
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