Pioli: Manchester United clash will be difficult but stimulating

Sun 07 March 2021 | 16:51

AC Milan will play against Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday.



won their Sunday match against


with a 2-0 result.

Rade Krunic

scored the opener for Milan in the 27th minute and

Diogo Dalot

’s strike in the second half secured the victory for

Stefano Pioli

’s side. The Italian team will now prepare themselves to face

Manchester United

in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday. In a post-match interview, Stefano Pioli has spoken about his team’s performance against Verona.

“We are a team and we are a stronger team when we are all together. We are a team also when we miss some players,”

Pioli told

Sky Sport Italia.

“We are not Martians, we can make mistakes, but we know our path and our growth. Difficulties have been helping us to improve,” he added.

“We have tough opponents. This was a challenging game against a team that have always created trouble. We didn’t suffer as much as in the previous games against them.

“We’ve been working together for one year and a half. We didn’t want to give Verona any point of reference and we played well today. We played a good game on a pitch that was not perfect.

“We changed our positions sometimes, but the identity remained the same.”

Asked about his side’s upcoming match against Manchester United, Pioli responded:

“Now we have a difficult match against Manchester United. Very difficult but also stimulating match,” Pioli said.

“We are proud to have a young team, but we expect consistency and things that are not easy.

“We know our qualities and our weaknesses. We are working to improve our quality and to cover some problems we have.

“We look at ourselves as we’ve always done. We are aware of our qualities and that the season is still long and difficult.”

Having returned from the Sanremo music festival, Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined the team in Verona last night.

“Zlatan is the ringleader of this group. He knew how difficult this game was. We knew he would come here and he kept his word.

“We saw him in the pre-match briefing. He immediately asked how the team was feeling. Everybody cheered him with affection. He helped us and gave the lads advises as the big champions do.

“Playing every three games can be helpful sometimes. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve kept the balance after victories and after defeats.

“It is when you win games that you must analyse what is not going well.

“We have our identity and that’s nice because the lads believe in what we do. We analyse games and then we prepare for the next one.

“I believe players’ performances do the peaking order. Tomori has given us different characteristics that we needed. We have Gabbia too, who has returned from an injury and has been helping us.

“Romagnoli reacted as a professional, but he never lacked respect and professionality. Right now I have three starters in defence.”

source: SportMob