Fikayo Tomori’s display in Milan’s victory over Roma has not surprised Stefano Pioli, enjoying ‘a game with high tempo and intensity, the kind we like to play.’
on Sunday who had not yet been defeated at home inSerie A
in the 2020/21 season. However, a penalty from Franck Kessie and another goal from Ante Rebic were more than enough to cancel Jordan Veretout’s strike.
I told the team that two negative games cannot make us lose the confidence we built together for over a year.
“We hoped to do better over the last two weeks, but the fact we didn’t should just give us more motivation. Our first half was extraordinary, we could’ve scored more goals. It was a game with a high tempo and intensity, the kind we like to play.
“It was up against a very strong Roma side, so conceding a goal can happen, but the lads deserve praise.”
Sidelining captain Alessio Romagnoli to play Fikayo Tomori was a surprising decision made by coach Stefano Pioli.
I expected this performance, because Tomori played a derby a couple of days after joining us, so he’s been at this level from the start. I still believe it’s the collective that allows the individual to perform and all together we won a very important match.
“Roma have players with a lot of pace and quality in attack, so we knew that we were taking a risk, but we also recovered more balls in the opposition half – finally – and were therefore more dangerous in attack.
It’s about weighing up the costs and benefits of an approach, and this approach is giving us more benefits.
“We are still a young team, we cannot have all the nous that a more mature side can put into a game. There is some naivete, but we have 17 more points in the table than at this stage last season, we’re in the Europa League Round of 16 and have played more games than anyone else.
“I don’t forget we are the youngest squad in Serie A. We were fully aware that we weren’t ourselves against Spezia and Inter.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Rebic all sustained injuries as they left the pitch.
“They were all muscular problems, at the moment they seem more down to fatigue than strains, but we’ll see what the tests say tomorrow.
“It’s a decisive moment for our season and we hope they are not serious, as we need everyone at our disposal.”
Pioli was quizzed on his feeling about the disappointing atmosphere that is surrounding Milan as they sit third.
I think this just proves that football is a strange old world. If we had told someone a year ago that we’d be in second place, then people would not have believed us. We know where we started, we know the objectives we started the season with and the path we have to take.
“I can assure you, four teams will be very happy to be in the top four and the rest will be very unhappy. So we hope to be happy. We raised expectations by doing so well for so long, we realise that.”