Pioli's Milan doing themselves no favours

04 April 2021 02:33:50 GMTPlus10

Stefano Pioli has admitted that his AC Milan side did themselves no favours in the Serie A title race after being held by Sampdoria at the San Siro.

Indeed, the Rossoneri's hopes of landing a first Scudetto since 2011 were badly hit in the 1-1 draw with the visiting Samp, although it could have been worse as they were trailing with just four minutes left on the clock.

Pioli admitted that it had been a tough preparation for the match over the international break, with Milan hugely disappointing in the first period as they failed to muster a single shot on target.

Although things started to improve after the break, a mistake by Theo Hernandez saw Claudio Ranieri's men take the lead in the 57th minute through Fabio Quagliarella, only for Adrien Silva to almost immediately hand the initiative back to the hosts by picking up his second yellow card of the match.

However, Milan didn't restore parity until the 87th minute through substitute Jens Petter Hauge and they had to settle for a share of the spoils, despite Franck Kessie's late effort striking the post.

"Milan have complicated lives for themselves," said Pioli.

"When mentally you can't get into the game right away then the difficulties of the match increase. Today we paid dearly because we didn't win."

Adding to MilanNews, the coach said: "Today I struggle to be happy. The performance had to be different; there were all the right situations to play with more intensity and quality.

"This must make us disappointed and embittered. Now we have to show that we can start off well right away."

Milan have given themselves plenty to do to rein in city rivals Inter in the race for the Scudetto, ending the game five points behind the Nerazzurri having played two games more.

Pioli will be hoping his side improve next time out against Parma next Saturday to at least maintain the pressure, as well as stay ahead of the likes of Atalanta and Juventus in the battle for Champions League qualification.

The San Siro giants are 1.70 to pick up the three points at the Ennio Tardini Stadium, with the hosts available at 4.75 and the draw at 3.90.

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