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AC Milan get wake-up call after heavy defeat against Lille

AC Milan no longer invincible after losing to Lille
AC Milan no longer invincible after losing to Lille
ANALYST
Modified 06 Nov 2020, 14:01 IST
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AC Milan’s unbeaten start to the season has finally come to an end. The Rossoneri had gone 11 games without defeat in all competitions, winning 10 times and drawing just once.

However, Stefano Pioli’s men were brought down to by French visitors Lille in the Europa League on Thursday. Milan were outplayed in all departments and were second best for long periods.

The Rossoneri have been one of Europe’s most exciting sides this season and currently sit at the top of Serie A. However, their performance against Lille was a timely reminder of the work that remains to be done at the San Siro.

Milan have improved rapidly under Pioli and have a young squad that continues to make progress with each passing week. However, they will need to be consistent if they are to return to the summit of European football.

AC Milan's unbeaten run halted

On Thursday, Pioli named a strong squad to face Lille which included the likes of Simon Kjaer, Theo Hernandez, Franck Kessie, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the players simply failed to turn up.

The team fought on after finding themselves behind in the 22nd minute, after an expertly converted penalty by Yusuf Yazici. However, Milan appeared to give up after Yazici doubled Lille’s lead early in the second half.

The Ligue 1 side sealed a huge win when the Turkish striker completed his hat-trick with another well-taken goal in the 58th minute. There is no reason to panic yet though, as this is Milan’s first loss since March.

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Milan were on a 24-game unbeaten run that stretched back to last season. Now, the team needs to show that this defeat was a temporary low by regrouping before next week's fixtures.

Time for Milan to regroup

Pioli rejected claims that his team underestimated Lille but was confident they will learn from the humiliating loss.

“We evaluate the positives and negatives, as always. For the first time in a long while, we have more negatives than positives to look at,” the Italian said in his post-game press conference, as quoted by Football Italia.
“We weren’t ourselves and made mistakes in the wrong game, because Lille are a team who will take advantage of those errors.”
“I am the coach of this team, I experienced the build-up to this match and I can assure you we did not underestimate anyone. We didn’t lose sight of the right attitude either. It’s just an off day and we will learn from it.”

Indeed, Milan have a lot to learn but there’s no denying the fact that they’ve been very good this season. It is up to Pioli to see that his team do not allow this defeat to unravel their impressive start to the campaign. 

Published 06 Nov 2020, 14:01 IST
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