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UCL: AC Milan coach Pioli laments after RB Salzburg draw

AC Milan coach, Stefano Pioli, admitted frustration after their 1-1 draw at Champions League opponents RB Salzburg.

The opening group game finished 1-1 in Salzburg as Alexis Saelemaekers’ free-kick canceled out Noah Okafor’s opener.

Pioli later said, “It’s a good result with a sufficient performance, but not a high-level performance. If you don’t lift the level of quality and tempo, it’s going to lead to danger. We recovered from a rough start, they started better, we must do better.

“It was a tough, hard-fought match against a strong opponent, we wanted the victory, but we could’ve done better.

“The lads know when they are doing well. Today, especially at the start, we were always second to the ball and Salzburg were able to go on rapid counter-attacks. They created dangerous situations, so did we, but we weren’t sharp enough in the final ball.

“I think we were too slow in the construction, as Salzburg weren’t pressing as aggressively as we expected and we could’ve created more chances by changing up the attacks. I wanted to see the team more compact, not as stretched out and that would’ve allowed us to play more in their half.”

He added: “We suffered on the counter because I think we didn’t get the transitions right and they always pressed our full-backs with a midfielder. I thought it was less that they pressed us in midfield and more that we didn’t move it fast enough, didn’t pick the right passes.”

On Sergino Dest’s debut, Pioli also remarked: “Dest is still getting to know the team, but he has a good attacking push. Origi needs playing time to get up to speed, but he had a really good pass for Brahim Diaz. Tommaso Pobega showed his usual characteristics, physicality, determination and had a few shots on goal too.”

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