First Team

MILAN-ATLETICO: POST MATCH INTERVIEWS


All the post-match interviews from the San Siro on Wednesday evening.

MILAN – Here’s what players and management had to say after Wednesday's Champions League encounter between Milan and Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League:

CLARENCE SEEDORF (Press conference)
"All credit to the players and they did very well. It was a great evening of Champions League football and that’s thanks to the fans who created this wonderful atmosphere. The result is in their favor but there are many positives. It was a balanced match and it’s shame about the result. I liked what I saw until about the 25 minute mark of the second half, we dropped for the last 20 minutes of the match and they finished well. It doesn’t seem like De Sciglio’s problem is that serious but we’ll see tomorrow. It was a bd foul but there’s no point in talking about things that everyone saw. I saw the right spirit from the players, we did well in the first half and in the second we paid the price physically. The players behaved themselves on the pitch even when they were provoked. We know that the match in Madrid will be an important one but we have time to prepare. Now I want to get back to Serie A starting from the good things we saw here. I went to Madrid to see Atletico play and I have information on all the players. Bit by bit I’m developing my match behavior, when the ball is out of play, you can communicate better with the players so that’s the time I try and adjust things. Atletico is a team that has the ability to play when in control of the game but containment is a strategy that their coach uses and I expected them to play as they did. I know the characteristics of the players quite well, Poli played well tactically and De Jong and Essien did very well too. Andrea can play in many positions and he made a big contribution here tonight. Atletico don’t change much whether they’re at home or away and we have time to prepare the match”.

MAURO TASSOTTI
"We played a good game and in the first half we deserved more. We came close to scoring a couple of times and then there was that incident with Pioli. They gained a lot of the pitch in the second half and we made a couple of changes trying to get the game back in hand. We were under the impression that they were pushing forward and then they got the goal from a corner. Before that even though they were pushing forward well, they never looked dangerous. Poli did very well pushing forward and even in the middle of the field, he provided a lot of help to his teammates, especially Essien. Taarabt did well individually but he still has to get to know his teammates. Maybe in a couple of occasions, he should have passed instead of dribbling but his was a positive performance all the same. De Sciglio went straight to hospital where he was looked at, he has a twisted ankle but we don’t know any more than that, Mario on the other hand has a problem with his shoulder. The referee could have booked a few more players and we could have had a penalty as well as the tackle was clumsy. 1-0 is not a good result but there’s still some football left to play and we’ll play it. The team should take heart from the performance and you shouldn’t just look at the result. This was probably the best game we played since Seedorf has been here. Let’s not forget that we were playing against a team on top of La Liga with Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Primavera’s win was a win for the entire club and that’s very gratifying”.


RICARDO KAKA'
“There’s a bit of a bad taste in our mouths as we played a great first half and hit the post twice. We created a lot and then they scored almost at the death. We’ll try and play our game in Madrid. It’s not the result that we were after but we have time to improve and to learn from this match. We had chances to score and I don’t like to talk about being unlucky, we need to be more precise. The only thing we were missing was the goal, we played well and we prepared well but it was Atletico who scored in the final minutes. I’m optimistic after what I saw this evening. The coach said we did well and to look at the good things we did and to have confidence in being able to turn the result around. We played well and we’re reaping the rewards of the work that we’re doing. I’m confident that we can score”.

MICHAEL ESSIEN

I think we played a good game and we had a few chances to score. In the end, they got the goal in the dying minutes of the game bur we didn’t deserve to concede. We’ve been trying to work hard and to improve. When you have chances to score and you don’t, then things get difficult. We have the return match in a month and we’ll be doing everything to get through to the next round. It won’t be easy to get a result as things stand but we’ll do everything we can. I’m feeling good and I’m settling in well”.

ANDREA POLI
“We played a great game tonight and we were let down by a single lapse of concentration. We imposed our play on them from the start and their keeper did very well. We know that we can do well against clubs like Atletico. We were a bit unlucky here but we want to get through the next round and we showed that. There’s a lot of anger that we have to turn into desire to get through. The keeper did well against my header and Adel crossed well. We need to have the awareness that we can play against anyone. The defender was a bit clumsy in his challenge on me, but the episodes should be left in the past. I always make sure that I’m ready. I’ve got to know Seedorf and he’s always been close to me, we talk a lot. I just have to work as I’ve always done. They had very few chances and we worked very well at the back and in the middle. We dropped the tempo a bit in the second half but we didn’t give anything away except for that one chance that they scored from. With this determination we have a chance of getting through”.

ADEL TAARABT
“We played well in the first half and we were a bit unlucky not to have scored. They were luckier than us and they got the goal with that header. Like the coach said we should hold our heads high and there’s still the return match to play. It won’t be easy but if we play like we did tonight then we’ll have a chance. Playing for this club is a dream for me and this was my first match in the Champions League. The fans were great and the atmosphere was fantastic. I think the fans should be pleased as we tried hard and unfortunately were a bit unlucky. The coach told me to get a lot of crosses in and to run hard. It’s not one of my habits to defend but that’s what the coach asked of me and I’ll try my best as he’s had confidence in me from the start. I feel the confidence he has in me and I’ll do anything he asks. It makes no difference to me to play on the right, the left or in the middle. I want to stay here at this club and make sure I’m wearing this jersey next season”.

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