Pioli Explains Half-Time Rafael Leao Substitution

Pioli Explains Half-Time Rafael Leao Substitution
Stefano Pioli, head coach of AC Milan, looks on — Photo by CristianoBarni

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli says Rafael Leao didn’t have his best evening leading to his substitution at half-time in Sunday’s shock 2-1 loss to Torino in Serie A.

Leao was hooked at the break in a triple substitution with the Rossoneri trailing 2-0 along with Brahim Diaz and Pierre Kalulu, with Pioli bringing on Ante Rebic, Sergino Dest and Charles De Ketelaere.

The Portuguese forward has been subject of transfer interest from big clubs including Chelsea and Manchester City, yet he wasn’t spared.

Leao missed two early chances, before Koffi Djidji and Aleksey Miranchuk put Torino two goals ahead.

Pioli explained: “I wanted to change something, seek more movement off the ball, vivacity and the push of Sergino Dest rather than Pierre Kalulu. I looked for different characteristics in the strikers.

“It certainly wasn’t his best evening, that was fairly obvious. We started better in the second half, but then needed to get a goal back a bit earlier. Its a pity, as this is a defeat that hurts.

“I am certainly disappointed, because we expected a different performance and result here tonight.

“It must make us work even harder going into the next games, so we should react immediately and show a different side to the team.”

The result ends Milan’s 17-game unbeaten away run, while it is another crack in their title defence, sitting in third spot and six points behind leaders Napoli who won 4-0 over Sassuolo.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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