Milan head coach Stefano Pioli lauded his team’s success this season and maintained the Rossoneri did not deserve to lose to Manchester United in the Europa League last-16 clash.
Milan stole a late 1-1 tie against Manchester United in the first leg last week and seemed the more probable scorers in the first half of Thursday’s return match at San Siro, where the Italian hosts finally lost 1-0.
Paul Pogba’s goal three minutes after coming on at halftime proved decisive as United defeated Milan 2-1 on aggregate.
On the night, there was very little between the teams, with possession divided nearly exactly down the middle and both teams managing four attempts each.
On the night, there was very little between the teams, with possession divided nearly exactly down the middle and both teams managing four shots on goal.
But Pioli, who saw Franck Kessie’s goal in the first leg controversially called out, claims Milan deserved more over the 180 minutes.
“It’s an elimination that disappoints us because we played like a fine team over the two legs and should’ve scored in the first half,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“It’s a shame because we worked so hard to get here and the team deserved to keep on, but we needed to give it a little more. We didn’t get to go out, in my opinion. We’re talking about a Manchester United team that made the Europa League semi-finals last season, is in the Champions League group stage this season and defeated Manchester City two weeks ago.”
He continued, saying: “Looking back at the Kessie goal seems like looking for excuses, but our overall result there was superior. As for tonight, Manchester United had more possession of the ball, but they never threatened.”
Pogba, making his comeback from a 10-game injury layoff, flicked home a loose ball for United’s decisive moment on Thursday, extending the club’s unbeaten streak to 13 away games.
The Frenchman has now scored in his last two away games against Milan, and he also scored against them while at Juventus in April 2016, and Pioli admitted his team should have done better to avoid the shot.