Stefano Pioli

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli was pleased with victory over Hellas Verona.

Milan won 1-0 thanks to a winner from captain for the day Rafael Leao.

Pioli later said: “We always play to win, it’s an important victory because it’s been a tiring week from a mental and physical point of view. We met a team that is doing well at the moment, they attacked us a lot. Maybe at times our construction was a little too slow and we lacked some plays between the lines and some depth on the flanks. But we played as a team, we worked hard and it’s a victory that will do us good.”

On naming Leao captain, Pioli said: “Well. I think the negativity around my players is exaggerated a bit. As far as I’m concerned, I take all the responsibility, I’ve always put my face to the result and I will always put my face to it. I coach a very responsible group that knows that one teammate’s mistake is everyone’s mistake.

“I’m lucky enough to coach a truly cohesive and compact group. Rafa did what he had to do. Sometimes he starts less well at the start of the game and then grows.

“Today he started very well and then sometimes he went out. He must be happy and he is: he feels good with everyone, he feels good with this shirt on, he feels good with the club, he’s fine with the fans and with us. He must know that when you become a great footballer you also have to endure high expectations.”