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Stefano Pioli was delighted that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had another 45 minutes to his credit in Milan’s penalty shootout victory over Torino.
Ibrahimovic, 39, returned from a bench injury against the same opponent in Serie A on Saturday, but started and played 45 minutes three days later when Milan reached the Coppa Italia quarter-finals with a win. 5-4 in the penalty shootout. .
Milan manager Pioli was delighted that the forward, who has scored 10 goals in seven Serie A games this season, gets more playing time after seven weeks out.
“We wanted to give him more time compared to the previous championship game. We prefer to let him play from the beginning because of his characteristics, ”he said via Sky Sport.
“This time will be used to improve his condition for the next championship match.”
The clash at San Siro ended 0-0 before Hakan Calhanoglu scored the decisive penalty in the penalty shootout after Ciprian Tatarusanu denied Tomas Rincón.
– AC Milan (@acmilan) January 12, 2021
It meant Milan reached the Coppa Italia quarter-finals for the twelfth consecutive season.
“I am lucky to have a team that knows how to fight, knows how to play, knows how to grit its teeth in a difficult match, even because of the qualities of our opponents,” said Pioli.
“On the many occasions we had, we could have avoided even going to penalties, but we went beyond physical and mental exhaustion and this is a desired qualification.”
Milan, which is three points ahead of the Serie A table, will visit Cagliari on Monday.