No regrets for Stefano Pioli as AC Milan’s Serie A unbeaten run comes to an end against Juventus
AC Milan fell to their first Serie A defeat in almost a year as Juventus ran out 3-1 winners at the San Siro on Wednesday but Stefano Pioli says his table-topping side can hold their heads up high, despite the loss. Milan remain a point clear of city rivals Inter in the race for the Scudetto race.
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli issues instructions to his players during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 06, 2021 in Milan, Italy.
“I gave the players a pat on the back, they deserved it. They shouldn’t have regrets after a game like this, they should keep their heads up."
Milan’s chances against the Italian champions were dealt a blow earlier on Wednesday when Ante Rebic and Rade Krunic tested positive for COVID-19 to take their tally of unavailable players to seven.
“Seven is a lot, but we didn’t lose our identity,” Pioli said.
“The individual episodes and the quality of the opponent made the difference.
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“The team could have been scared, they knew that another two players would be missing tonight. They had no fear.”
Victory for Juventus moved Andrea Pirlo’s side into the top four and seven points behind Milan, but they have a game in hand over the league leaders.
Pirlo, who is looking to lead Juve to a 10th consecutive league title in his first season as a manager, was encouraged by what he saw from his players.
“We didn’t look at the results of the other teams above us, we were focused on what we had to do,” he said.
“It was important tonight above all to look for this spirit, the spirit of a team that wants to command, coming to a pitch this important against the team that is top of the league and playing our own game.”