Thursday September 17 2020
Pioli: 'Milan controlled the match'

Stefano Pioli saw Milan ‘play to win and control the match’ against Shamrock Rovers in their first competitive game of the 2020-21 season.

Hakan Calhanoglu scored one goal and created another for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Dublin, setting up the next Europa League preliminary round tie against Norwegians Bodo/Glimt.

“I tried to seem positive in yesterday’s press conference, but I was still a little concerned, as it’s not easy to play such an important game after just three weeks of training,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“However, we proved that we were ready by controlling the match. I was a little concerned not about the quality of the squad, but the fitness levels at this stage.

“I think the performances were all positive today, though we need to improve, as the next opponents will be tougher. We are Milan and must maintain as high a level as possible, play to win, and that is what we’ll do.”

Ibrahimovic opened the scoring for the 2020-21 season, finishing off a Calhanoglu assist.

“Ibra is so intelligent, he knows where he has to position himself. He was coming too deep at the start, so we pushed him further forward. Zlatan is a champion.”

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