Pioli Slams Milan Defensive Errors After Sassuolo Defeat

Head coach Stefano Pioli has blasted Milan’s defensive mistakes following another lackluster Serie A defeat to Sassuolo. After succumbing to a 4-3 reverse to Fiorentina last time out, the Rossoneri suffered another clear-cut league loss as the Neroverdi picked up a 3-1 win at the San Siro.

Saturday afternoon’s kick-off gave Milan their first Serie A defeat on home turf this season, even though Alessio Romagnoli catapulted the Rossoneri to an early lead. As was the case at the Artemio Franchi last weekend, Pioli’s defenders switched off too many times against the rampant visitors, who knew how to punish every mistake. 

Tiémoué Bakayoko’s wayward pass from the back initiated Milan’s collapse as the Sassuolo in-form striker Gianluca Scamacca fired the ball into the top left corner of Mike Maignan’s goal from long range. Defending set-pieces once again proved to be the hosts’ “Achilles heel,” with the Neroverdi completing the first-half turnaround via corner-kick. 

Another lapse of concentration saw Franck Kessié give the ball away just outside his penalty area in the build-up to Sassuolo’s third. Domenico Berardi made light work of Romagnoli to put clear daylight between the sides in the 66th minute. There was no way back for Milan from that point on. 

Milan have kept just four clean sheets in their opening 13 league matches this season, too low for a team that stakes a claim for the ultimate prize. Across their last two Serie A outings, the Rossoneri have conceded seven goals, as many as their direct title rivals Napoli have let in in 13 top-flight games this term.

Pioli is aware his team cannot afford to shoot themselves in the foot twice in a row if they are to mount a serious Serie A title challenge this season. The Mister refused to hide his frustration with Milan’s recurring defensive blunders in the aftermath.

Asked about his side’s disappointing showing at the back, Pioli replied: “It definitely hurts, as it did last Sunday. We want to get different results with a different performance than today,” via MilanNews.

It is true that we suffered too much mentally after their equalizer and it must not happen. We have a way of playing and we have to keep that even in difficulties. After going in front we had to manage the ball better, then after going behind we lost clarity. Seven goals conceded are too many: the team need to defend better.