Under-fire Milan boss Giampaolo admits his players suffered from ‘pressure’
Under-fire AC Milan boss Marco Giampaolo admitted the pressure got to his players as they crashed to a 3-1 home defeat by Fiorentina.
The Rossoneri slumped to a fourth loss in six matches and had Mateo Musacchio sent off for a nasty lunge on Franck Ribery.
The defeat leaves a huge question mark over the future of Giampaolo, with reports in Italy claiming he would be sacked were they to lose on Sunday night.
Goals from Erick Pulgar, Gaetano Castrovilli and Ribery did the damage for Fiorentina, who also missed a penalty through Federico Chiesa, with Rafael Leao pulling one back.
“I believe in my ideas, but this Milan team looked like it turned up without ever having a training session together,” Giampaolo said on Sky Sport Italia.
“The team played with great character just three days ago (against Torino) and I saw moments of the football I like. Tonight, it played badly on an individual level, with no organisation or sense of collective responsibility.
“There are some players who are young and can try individual moves, but they can only get you so far. When things aren’t going well, you must have the strength to cling to your identity as a team.
“If we try to resolve things individually, we risk drowning in difficulties and that is what happened this evening.
“I take responsibility, of course, but I go forward because I believe in my ideas. The thing that annoyed me was the team looked like it turned up to San Siro without ever having a training session together. You can lose, but not like that.
“Up until three days ago, I liked the performance and saw good responses against Torino.
“Tonight, the pressure got to them, they felt the absolute need to win and I told them to play with all the right ingredients to win, not waiting for events to happen. We had to create the events ourselves.
“Instead, the pressure weighed on us, we were tense, not reacting quickly enough and evidently feeling the pressure.”
For Fiorentina it was a second win in five days having picked up their first victory of the season against Sampdoria in midweek.
Viola head coach Vincenzo Montella was full of praise for his side and singled out Ribery.
“It’s a great achievement to beat AC Milan at San Siro,” Montella told the club website.
“It’s never easy to play here with the fans whistling at you. We eased off a touch at 3-0 but overall I’m pleased.
“Ribery deserved the standing ovation. Once again he made the difference out there – he always does.”