AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli is confident his side can book a place in the final of the 2023 Champions League despite defeat in their first-leg semifinal fixture.

Milan lost 0-2 at home to neighbours Inter in the first meeting at the San Siro last Wednesday with Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring for Simeone Inzhagi’s side.

Defeat in the first encounter makes things difficult for Pioli, whose side is also currently outside the top four spots in the Italian Serie A.

Despite the shortcoming from last week, the Milan gaffer has trusted his players to turn the tie around and book a place in the final of the competition.

“We know we are starting with a disadvantage, but we also have the quality to overturn it,” said Pioli.

“Now, more than ever, nobody thinks Milan can reach the final.

“We can play a great game and I know how strong my players are. We’ve made some mistakes, but the past is irrelevant.

“We have an important goal in mind – to win and qualify for the final, which nobody would have predicted, just as at the beginning of the year no-one would have predicted our presence in the semi-finals.”

Only one team in Champions League history has lost the first leg of a semi-final by two or more goals and subsequently advanced – Liverpool’s stunning comeback against Barcelona in 2019 being the lone exception – but that is the job that awaits Pioli’s side at the San Siro once again.


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