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‘We proved we are a strong team’ Pioli upbeat despite Juve loss

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Stefano Pioli insists his Milan side put up a good fight against Juventus given the circumstances in the build-up to the match.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli took to the positives from his side despite their 3-1 loss to reigning Serie A champions Juventus.

The Rossoneri saw their 28- game unbeaten Serie A run come to an end. It was their first defeat since the lockdown started in March 2020.

A brace from Federico Chiesa and one from substitute McKennie saw Juve hand Milan and Pioli his first domestic loss of the season.

It was expected that Milan would perhaps struggle against the Bianconeri. They were without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ismael Bennacer, Sandro Tonali, Alexis Saelemaekers, Matteo Gabbia. If that wasn’t enough, Ante Rebic and Rade Krunic were diagnosed with COVID-19 hours before the game.

Pioli maintains his side put out a strong challenge against a quality side given the personnel they had for the game.

“Many teams would struggle missing that many players, but although we had to change things, we tried to maintain our identity and I think we did that,” he said to Sky Italia.

“It was a very even game up until the second Juventus goal and I feel that’s the moment that changed it.”

“The team could’ve been frightened by the situation, we found out last night that these two players couldn’t participate, but we held onto our values and identity.”

“We knew Juventus could take advantage of the situation, as they’ve won the last nine Serie A titles, but we held out well overall. We were penalized by their quality in situations where we could’ve been a little more concentrated.”

Despite the loss, Milan remain top of Serie A and Pioli would be hoping his side can get back to winning ways when they welcome Torino to San Siro at the weekend.