AC Milan boss puts crisis talk to bed and hails star’s importance

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli praised his side after they got back to winning ways on Wednesday.

Defeating Genoa 3-0, they put aside talk of a crisis at the club. A freekick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic started the scoring before a brace from Brazilian attacker Junior Messias. The Rossoneri had suffered consecutive Serie A defeats in a blow to their title hopes. 

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Speaking to Sky Italia, Pioli said:

“If we do not have the ball we must try to recover it as soon as possible. 

“Today we did it all together, if we don’t all run it is a problem. If you have these times of pressure, surely you have an approach to the game with more determination and concentration.

“Messias, Krunic and Diaz were good at not giving points of reference as well as Ibrahimovic at varying on the attack. 

“The important thing is to have all the positions covered. We played the right game.”

Pioli was quick to praise Messias. The 30-year-old has made a big impact since returning from injury.

He said: “Messias is the player I expected, he had some problems and he is resumed and if you played like this in Crotone you can also do it in Milan.

“There are intelligent and unintelligent players, he is part of the first category. 

“A strong team like Milan offers 3-4 players, we have studied them all and we thought that he could have been the right one. He can grow further and has quality. Today he scored two important and not easy goals. I’m happy for him.”

Looking ahead, Milan have a must-win weekend match against bottom-placed Salernitana. 

After Napoli drew at Sassuolo, Milan are now just one point adrift of the league leaders.

Pioli praises Zlatan and issues Kjaer update

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has hailed talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 

The Swede has six goals in nine games for his side after a brilliant free-kick against Genoa.

Pioli said: “He was the only player who sent me the message for the [contract] renewal saying ‘congratulations mister deserved but now we have to win’. 

“It is an important season, in which we can have the satisfaction even if our opponents are strong.

“Ibrahimovic is very important. His arrival has improved everyone a bit but his team-mates have also been good at accepting his way of doing things. 

“He too has to thank his team-mates because he is back as the strong player he was a few years ago. They work when everyone works together. Zlatan has given so much but he has also received so much.”

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