AC Milan boss explains why he’s happy to face Manchester United

AC Milan played out a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford, in the first leg of the Europa League clash.

United were favourites to beat AC Milan and progress to the quarterfinal, but after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, the Serie A side have the advantage heading into the second leg.

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has admitted that he’s happy to face Manchester United, as he wants Milan to be facing high-quality teams.

“The team played with personality. We suffered in the difficult moments. We knew they have quality, but this performance must boost our self-confidence,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“When we were drawn with Manchester United I though they were the right opponent for us.

“We are working to improve and try to win again. We want to take Milan where we belong and these are the games where you can improve,” he continued.

“We want to go all the way through and to do so we have to beat these teams.

“Today’s result is positive, but we have another tough game ahead. The job is not done. They are a great team. ‘I am satisfied. I keep repeating my players I am not training a regular group. This is an extraordinary group, under any aspect.

“When I see the lads give their soul to get a good result, I can only be happy. It’s probably a result we would have accepted before the game. After it, I can say we may deserve something more, but it’s a good result.

“The team’s spirit was great, we wanted to dominate the game and give our best. We must have a high level of application to play as we do.

“We’ve been playing one game every four days since September, but these guys never give up. We must continue, it’s a crucial part of the season.

“Now, we have three big games coming next: Napoli, Manchester United and Fiorentina. Then we’ll have time to rest, at least those who won’t join the national teams.”