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Stefano Pioli is looking forward to the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Milan manager was satisfied with Rafael Leao’s performance against Sassuolo.
Leao scored the fastest goal in Serie A history, after just six seconds, when Milan managed a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday.
Milan returned to winning ways after consecutive draws, and are one point ahead of their rival, Inter, at the top of the table.
Pioli’s men have managed to stay unbeaten in Serie A in 13 matches despite being without Ibrahimovic since late November, the forward, who has scored 11 goals this season, will miss another month after suffering a calf injury in training.
Despite his team’s form without the 39-year-old star, Pioli is eager to welcome Ibrahimovic.
“First of all, with Ibra we are a stronger team. He is a champion and with him the team improved in many aspects, “he said at a press conference.
“Thanks to their work, many players have improved their performances. I hope he comes back as soon as possible because we need him and with him we are a better team ”.
Leao, 21, is the youngest player with more than three goals in the top five European leagues in each of the last three seasons.
– AC Milan (@acmilan) December 20, 2020
Alexis Saelemaekers doubled Milan’s lead after the first match and saw a win despite a late goal from Domenico Berardi.
“I am very happy for Leao because sometimes I ask him for more in terms of determination and consistency during the game,” Pioli said.
“I never judge a performance by the goal but today, despite scoring, he had a good approach to the game and he also worked hard when we were defending and was able to help the team a lot.
“He did all these things and with his individual qualities if he shows this mindset he can become a very important player if he plays like he did. [against Sassuolo]. “