Stefano Pioli expressed his admiration for Rafael Leao following his stellar performance that played a pivotal role in AC Milan’s significant victory in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain. In the 12th minute, Leao scored a remarkable overhead kick to equalize Milan Skriniar’s early goal, and a second-half header from Olivier Giroud secured a 2-1 win for the Italian team.
After a relatively quiet start to the season, Pioli was thrilled to witness his star forward shine on the Champions League stage. Pioli remarked, “This level of performance should be his norm. He has the potential to be a champion, and it’s entirely up to him. He delivered an exceptional performance, not only in terms of skill but also in terms of determination, just like the rest of the team.”
The victory by the seven-time European champions, along with Borussia Dortmund’s 2-0 triumph over Newcastle, has intensified the competition in Group F. With all four teams realistically vying for any position from the top to the bottom, the group is wide open.
Pioli acknowledges that, following a challenging period, his team has set the stage for a crucial showdown with Dortmund in the upcoming fixtures. He stated, “We’ve taken a significant step forward, but the group’s fate will be decided in the final round. Our upcoming direct confrontation with Dortmund, who currently hold a two-point lead over us, could prove decisive. I congratulate the players for their performance in this important group match, but the final outcome remains uncertain.”
Having recently suffered a defeat to Udinese in Serie A, Milan’s immediate focus is on regaining domestic form as they face Lecce this weekend. Subsequently, they will host Fiorentina before gearing up for the crucial European encounter in three weeks’ time.