Despite Pioli capping his 100th game as a manager within the Serie A, the celebrations were spoiled as Milan were held to a 0-0 stalemate at the Stadio San Siro against Bologna this evening.
The Rossonerri looked fierce as they controlled every ounce of the field and dominated the fixture through their fast build-up play and immense creativity when in possession. Unfortunately, Pioli’s men were lack-lustre within the final third as the attacking duo Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud failed to find the back of the net on several occasions. The misfires within the front-line of attack caused Il Diavolo to drop two massive points, making the title race wide open as they failed to extend their lead to a greater extent.
With Milan failing to seal all three points this evening at home, the Rossonerri have a total of 67 points. As a result, only one point separates them from second-place Napoli, and their cross-city rivals Inter sit in third place, only six points away from the summit with yet a game in-hand.
Following the frustrating result of the fixture, Pioli spoke to Sky Sport Italia about his side’s overall performance: “It’s easy to analyze this evening’s game. We were unable to find that little moment, the final ball, the twist, the shot that could change it. We did everything else.
“These are matches where if you break the deadlock early, they become easier, otherwise they are extremely tough. We worked very well off the ball against a rugged side, but not as well with the ball at our feet.
In addition, the gaffer spoke about how he feels about Napoli and Inter claiming all three points within their fixtures over the weekend and gaining ground within the race for the scudetto: “I totally exclude the idea it was a psychological issue. The team played with the right character, temperament and mentality, even with quality up until the final third.
“At the moment, we are creating a lot of chances and not finishing them, that is the truth shown by the statistics. We are playing our football, but not finishing the opportunities.
“I have no complaints about this team other than we need to be sharper and more efficient in the penalty area. We play every game to win, so naturally it was a missed opportunity, especially in front of our fans.
“I expected these difficulties and every team will face them. I won’t lie, on paper it looked like a favourable weekend for us, but football is not played on paper and our advantage has been cut.
“We have another very tough match coming up, Torino have taken points off both Inter and Juventus. I think it will certainly be a title race that goes down to the last two rounds.”