Sandro Tonali spoke to the press after the dramatic win over Fiorentina at Stadio San Siro tonight.
It was far from pretty, but Milan managed to grab the 3 points this evening when they hosted Fiorentina of Vincenzo Italiano at a packed Stadio San Siro.
Rafael Leão scored after 90 minutes, but Milan looked poor for the rest of the first half and conceded through Antonín Barák (28′). In the second half, coach Stefano Pioli did some changes, bringing on Sergiño Dest, Divock Origi and Aster Vranckx.
The Rossoneri looked better but it took them until stoppage time to find the back of the net again: Vranckx’s cross got past Pietro Terracciano who collided with Ante Rebić and the ball hit Nikola Milenković and got in for a 91′ own goal winner for the Diavolo, who picked up the three points.
Milan are now heading into the World Cup break in 2nd place, -8 from Napoli who are having a magnificent season, with 13 wins out of 15 games played and 41 points in the standings.
“Not all the opening 15 games went our way but overall we did well enough. Then again, we can’t be happy with how we’ve fared. We have to analyze ourselves, that’s all we can do and which we will keep doing. We played a positive game, desperate to get all three points. It’s all that mattered today. We’ve given everything we had, just like our fans. That gave us added powers in the final minutes to go and score the winning goal.
On the fans: “We can’t play without our fans and vice-versa. It’s the unity that makes us as we notice on the pitch. They are pivotal for us, especially in bad times. The fans give us strength, while sharpening our focus and ensuring that we make every single Milan fan in the stadium happy. And today it was no different as they helped us massively in the end.”
On the World Cup break: “The break has both benefits and disadvantages. But it’s necessary as we’ve been involved in 21 games and barring one week or two, we’ve had one game every three days. It won’t get any easier but now is the time to wind down a bit. And whoever has the chance to do so will meet up with their national team. All the others can ease up a bit.”
Tonali stepped in for Pioli in the post-match presser; the coach didn’t speak to the press after the game for personal reasons which were not shared with the media:
The only thing that mattered was the three points…
“From now on they will count for a lot, every game will weigh. There are not so many way to play a game, the objective is to win, playing well or playing badly. In the end the fans care little about playing well or playing badly, what matters is to win. Today we gave our all, even if we didn’t manage many things from a technical point of view, but we have great character.”
Was it the best year of your career?
“I’ve had a few years, we can put it in first place. I hope that other better ones will come. A great year is closing, full of satisfactions and many small emotions.”
With what spirit will you follow the World Cup?
“I will watch it. It hurts not to be there and it will hurt even more this month, because you understand that we have done something big wrong. It will be difficult, but it will pass and we have to look ahead.”
Vranckx came on very well…
“Aster has always been a guy who is available in everything, he’s been inside since day one; he deserves to play and experience these emotions like someone who always plays. He’s a good person and a good guy, as well as a great player. We changed the way we play, but not the spirit.”
After Atalanta you called the team to order, where are we today?
“The game against Atalanta was very different from this one, there was another way of playing and we deserved more than a 1-1 draw. Many things have changed in today’s match, two months later: the players change because there are several out injured, but our Milan spirit does not change, which the coach has passed on to us in these two and a half years and we will have to carry it on forever.”