Wednesday March 3 2021
Pioli: 'Milan lacked quality'

Stefano Pioli said Milan ‘lacked quality and rhythm’ in the 1-1 draw with Udinese on Wednesday.

The coach watched Franck Kessie win them a point with the last kick of the match from the penalty spot, as Udinese finished the match with 10 men.

“We wanted to win, it’s a shame,” Pioli told DAZN. “We knew that it would be difficult against a team with everyone behind the ball.

“I saw determination and a lack of clarity. There was a lack of quality and rhythm, not anger and determination.”

Pioli said Milan struggled to win the duels against a physical Friuli.

“We start again as always with the next match,” Pioli said. “Each game has its own story.

“On Sunday we found an opponent who wanted to play, Udinese instead play this type of game.

“We had to get in more duels and the only duel we managed to win in the first half was when [Samu] Castillejo had the chance.”

Rafael Leao had a disappointing night against a compact Udinese defence and Pioli admitted Milan missed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Mandzukic.

“I always expect a lot from my players,” Pioli said. “Rafa has characteristics more suited for attacking spaces.

“When he finds a closed defence, he still doesn’t have the shrewdness to anticipate the defender. “Today we lacked the right characteristics to face this type of match, we lacked the two real strikers in the squad. Leao and [Ante] Rebic have other characteristics.”

Sandro Tonali was replaced by Soualiho Meite at half-time and Pioli said it was a change he made as ‘a precaution’.

“Tonali came out as a precaution,” Pioli continued. “He felt a slight problem in the flexor.”

Gianluigi Donnarumma arguably let in an easy goal when Rodrigo Becao’s header stunned the hosts.

“We haven’t talked yet,” Pioli told the broadcaster. “He has saved us many times.

“Now we must try to resume our run. A half positive result, let’s think about the next game.”

An injured Ibrahimovic had travelled from his duties in Sanremo to be with the team during the game, and Pioli confirmed he was not happy with the result.

“We didn’t come satisfied out of this game, he’s like everyone else."