Stefano Pioli Slammed Milan’s Mentality Against Bologna

AC Milan reached the Serie A summit, if only for 24 hours, as they eked out a 4-2 away triumph over nine-man Bologna to extend their impressive start to the season. Another underwhelming evening at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara stretched the home side’s exhausting wait for a victory over the Rossoneri to over 20 years.

Rafael Leao brought Milan in front 16 minutes into the game following a sublime solo effort. Bologna’s Adama Soumaoro received a straight red card only four minutes later, leaving his side high and dry. Stefano Pioli’s side capitalized on having a man up on the pitch as Davide Calabria hammered home a 35th-minute attempt to double the visitors’ lead.

Although Milan’s win looked like a foregone conclusion at half-time, Bologna’s blistering start to the season half nearly turned the tables on the traveling side. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first own goal in his career pulled the hosts one back in the 49th minute, with Musa Barrow completing the comeback only three minutes later.

However, Roberto Soriano’s reckless challenge on Fode Ballo Toure just before the hour mark saw Bologna go two-man down, which ultimately swayed the match to Milan’s favor. The Rossoneri had to wait until the 84th minute to break down Sinisa Mihajlovic’s stubborn defense, as Ismael Benacer smashed home a half-volley to restore the visitors’ lead.

Ibrahimovic found the net again in the 90th minute, though this time on the right side to put the match beyond doubt and fire Milan to the top of the Serie A standings. Pioli blasted his players’ attitude in the opening stage of the second half, saying his side thought ‘the game was over’ at 2-0. 

We struggled because we made the mistake of thinking the game was over when we were 2-0 up with an extra man,” he said, as relayed by TUTTOmercatoWEB.

If you stop playing, then you run a risk in any scenario. Fortunately, we showed the strength to restart and get the win.

When against nine men, that changed our mentality and we got too frenetic. Having Giroud and Ibrahimovic together also confused us, we were putting too many crosses in without specific aims.