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Milan coach Stefano Pioli said the experience of losing 3-1 to Juventus at San Siro was “healthy” for his team, saying: “We haven’t felt that for a while.”
A double by Federico Chiesa and a third goal by Weston McKennie ended the unbeaten Serie A record of the leaders this season, placing them to a first in 28 matches in the Italian top flight.
Milan had 20 shots, but Davide Calabria’s draw at the end of the first half was the only one that found the back of the net and Pioli admitted that his team was the second best of the night.
“We have to take our hats off and give our opponents credit for getting back to the front,” Pioli told Sky Sports Italia.
“We did what we needed to do, we created chances and inevitably allowed some, but after falling behind for the second time, it became more difficult to do it again.
“It was a very close game until Juventus’ second goal and I think that was the moment that changed it.
“We were penalized for his quality in situations where we could have been a little more focused.”
– AC Milan (@acmilan) January 6, 2021
The defeat came on a night when Milan’s closest title rivals and Inter City were defeated 2-1 at Sampdoria.
Despite watching his players miss a chance to go four points clear at the top of the table, Pioli reflected on the positives.
He said: “The guys had their heads down in the locker room and they were disappointed, but in a way it was healthy for us to experience defeat, as we hadn’t felt that for a while.
“I patted them on the back, told them that they should be proud of what they accomplished under the circumstances.
“We show that we are a strong team tonight.”