Thursday October 29 2020
Pioli: 'Difficult to choose Milan XI'

Stefano Pioli admits Milan now have so much strength in depth it’s ‘becoming difficult to choose the starting XI’ after a 3-0 Europa League win over Sparta Prague.

Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao and Diogo Dalot were on target at San Siro to maintain their perfect record in the group stage.

“The team knows what it has to do on the pitch and how to read the games,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We were coming off a good performance against Roma where we could’ve done better in controlling the situation. Today we made the most of the spaces that were allowed.

“I must admit, it becomes increasingly difficult to choose the starting XI, as everyone is doing so well. The lads work in such a unified fashion and that is the attitude that makes me want to pick them. We wanted strength in depth, so it’s only right that we make the most of it.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off for Rafael Leao at half-time, having missed a penalty by firing it onto the crossbar.

“We had already planned the substitution, as Zlatan is a champion and probably wanted to continue, but we have another very difficult match coming up on Sunday, so it was only right to balance out our efforts.

“Sandro Tonali made two steps forward in his performance this evening. It was inevitable he’d take a while to settle, as he arrived after pre-season, so I am very satisfied with the way he is growing into the team and finding form. He’s perfect for creating competition for places.

“Ismael Bennacer is really improving, but in some situations he can be even sharper in his passing. I must say, I am so impressed with the way all the lads are putting ego aside, because you get nowhere as a team without altruism.

“We are Milan and want to be ambitious, but it’s the only way we can beat teams who look stronger than us. We cannot predict the future, so let’s keep going with our feet firmly on the ground, because difficult moments will come.”