Sacchi Slams Pioli: “Milan Were Sparring Partners”

Arrigo Sacchi had searing words toward Milan and Stefano Pioli for their lackluster showing in the Derby. The legendary coach spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Milan are no longer a team, especially their first-half version. Inter didn’t face real opponents but sparring partners. The Rossoneri just ran after the adversaries and were always late. They never pressed or forestalled them and guarded them too loosely.”

“Switching to a five-man defense created confusion and erased the work of the last few years. That’s my opinion. It cancelled their ideas. They didn’t have a single shot in the first half. It was a monologue by Inter, which didn’t need to break a sweat and dominated.”

Sacchi disagreed with the tactical switch by Milan.

“We shouldn’t forget that Pioli has done a great job, but he wiped it all out with his choices in the Derby. It was a mistake to change their principles and scheme. It’s true that Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud have been drained by the World Cup, but that doesn’t mean you have to alter the formation.”

“There were other ways to be more defensive-minded. They could have inserted an extra midfielder if Giroud and Leao don’t track back. A five-man defense means that they have lost certainties. They looked scared, terrified even. The true problem is that the coach has to be convinced of his ideas to convey them to the players. Tweaking the scheme is like an admission that he was wrong. The job of a manager is to win over footballers and pester them until they do what you desire.”

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