Milan on right path despite Lazio loss – Pioli

Getty Images

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli believes his side are moving in the right direction despite suffering a sixth loss in just 11 Serie A matches this season.

Lazio beat Milan 2-1 at San Siro on Sunday, Joaquin Correa's 83rd-minute winner proving decisive as the victors climbed to fourth in the standings.

Milan remained mired in midtable mediocrity, sitting 11th, and they are already eight points off the European places and 16 behind leaders Juventus.

Pioli only took over from Marco Giampaolo in October and feels the Rossoneri are getting better, even if results remain mixed.

"In my view, the team is improving," former Inter boss Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"Of course, for the table and the situation, it was important to win, but the performance was there tonight.

"We took a few risks in order to create danger for the opponents, matching them all the way to the end, and I believe we are on the right path now.

"All we can do is keep improving along these lines. I saw a team that fought hard for 95 minutes. I did not see a team that was struggling, afraid or let their heads drop.

"We do still make a lot of mistakes, such as passing when we should keep it, and vice versa, but I saw these players looking anxious and afraid when I arrived. I don't see that in them now."

Pioli also made a point of mentioning Rafael Leao, who he felt failed to impact the contest off the bench.

"I expected more from him tonight. When coming on, he was meant to give changes of pace, fresh energy, work with the team," he added.

"He has a lot of potential, but he absolutely has to do more. His contribution tonight was not up to his standards."

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi was happy with his side after they won a Serie A match at Milan for the first time since 1989.

"We won an important game, I think deservedly, against a side that in my view had a good performance but Lazio played very well and did everything to win," Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.

"It wasn't easy after the equaliser but we wanted to break this 30-year taboo, especially as we won here last season in the Coppa Italia semi-final.

"I told my players we needed more hunger and determination than Milan."

Ciro Immobile scored his 100th Lazio goal in the victory, which helped the capital club move above Atalanta in the table and within one point of third-placed rivals Roma.