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Pioli happy about Lecce win as Milan hunt for a UCL spot

Milan’s victory against Lecce in Serie A on Sunday was convincing, which has improved their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Milan manager Stefano Pioli praised his team for carrying their strong form from the Champions League into Serie A after their victory over Lecce on Sunday ended their domestic slump.

The Rossoneri had only managed to win one of their previous six league games, which had significantly dented their chances of finishing in the top four. However, they managed to beat Lecce 2-0 at San Siro thanks to a Rafael Leao brace.

Milan currently sits level on points with Roma in fourth place, with Roma due to face Atalanta on Monday. Additionally, they are just three points behind Juventus, who had their 15-point deduction reversed this week.

Milan’s struggles in Serie A were in sharp contrast to their strong performances in the Champions League. They made it to the semi-finals for the first time since 2007 after defeating Serie A leaders Napoli 2-1 on aggregate.

Pioli asked Milan players to bring Champions League’s energy to Serie A

Asked by DAZN how the Milan coach motivated his side, Pioli said: “That it was important to start strong and important to bring Champions League performances onto the pitch.

“We did many good things, we need to improve others.”

Pioli stated that Milan will face their city rivals, Inter, in the last four of the Champions League, while the two teams compete for a top-four finish in Serie A, with Inter sitting in sixth place, two points behind Milan. However, Pioli added that Inter’s 3-0 victory over Empoli earlier on Sunday had no impact on Milan’s determination.

He added: “Before today there were 8 days left. I told the team that the next two would determine our final position.

“We will try to win as many games as possible, we are fine and we must continue to work at our best.”

Leao scored both of Milan’s goals to bring home the three points. After his fourth brace in the Italian top flight and first double at home in Serie A since September 2022 against Inter, Leao was more focused on the team’s achievements.

“I always try to play a good game, helping my team-mates,” he told DAZN. “The most important thing today was to win, we haven’t done it in a long time in the league.”

As for his own exploits, Leao added: “I was thinking about it even before the match that I had to score. It’s always nice to score with these fans and I’m very happy.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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