Stefano Pioli felt that Milan showed their strength in depth in the 2-0 Serie A victory over Venezia at San Siro.
Pioli kicked off the changes following Sunday’s draw with Juventus, with Fode Ballo-Toure entering a renewed defense for his first start.
The Rossoneri dominated possession but did not score a shot on goal until Brahim Díaz first shot on a cross from substitute Theo Hernandez midway through the second half.
Full-back marauder Hernandez, who entered the field together with Fikayo Tomori and Alexis Saelemaekers shortly before the finish line, doubled Milan’s lead eight minutes from time, bringing them on equal points with leaders and fierce rival Inter.
It was a frustrating evening for Milan until Diaz scored with his third goal of the season, but Pioli believes they showed the progress made, with key men absent once again.
The Milan coach said: “The team broke down [Venezia down] playing with intelligence and clarity, continuing to push and create. We have more than one quality player and they are used to winning games. “
He added: “I disagree that we weren’t brilliant in the first half, it just lacked a bit of quality. I am not surprised by the players who have played little so far, they are all strong.
“Important means that the team is there and is fine, they believe in it [his approach] and play. We are only at the beginning, I have a very large squad, apart from a few too many injuries at the moment. They are all players who can help the team. “
– Milan (@acmilan) September 22, 2021
Pioli knows there is a lot of room for improvement after his team have achieved four wins out of five unbeaten games in this Serie A.
“We lacked precision in the first half, but in the second half we did it by playing with intensity and attention,” he said.
“In many things you can improve. All the matches give us interesting ideas, there are many situations in which we can grow “
Pioli revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Olivier Giroud and Simon Kjaer are making progress with their injury recoveries, but it is not sure if they will be able to face Spezia on Saturday.
Hernandez became the first AC Milan defender to score and assist in a Serie A match since Opta collected that data (2004-05), hitting the bottom of the net with a sweet goal.