Paoli explains half-time Ibrahimovic alternative to Milan’s Europa League victory

Paoli explains half-time Ibrahimovic alternative to Milan's Europa League victory

Sweden did not return to the pitch until the second half – but his head coach insisted it was all part of a plan.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli insisted that replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic halfway through his 3-0 Europa League victory over Sparta Prague was a premeditated decision.

After Braham Diaz’s opener, Ibrahimovic missed a chance to double Milan’s lead when his 36th minute spot kick hit the crossbar, one of three shots without hitting the target during the opening period.

He was later replaced at the break by Rafael Leo, who doubled Milan’s lead in the second round before sealing a comfortable victory for Diego Dalot.

Paoli, however, insists that the decision to remove Ibrahimovic was made before the game at the time and was not affected by his performance.

“We already had a plan,” he told SkySport Italia. “Zlatan is a champion and probably wanted to continue, but we have another very difficult match coming up on Sunday, so it was right to balance our efforts.”

Pioli made five changes to the intersection that led to a 3-3 draw with Serie A over the weekend against Rome, while Milan won their ninth of all 10 matches this season, including a penalty shoot-out. Continued to claim.

Rosnery returns to domestic action on Sunday with a trip to Udinese and Puelli in Adenis and says he finds it difficult to add so many players to his squad.

“The team knows what to do on the pitch and how to read the game.”

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“We were doing well against Roma where we could have done better to control the situation. Today we allowed most places.

“I have to admit, it’s difficult to pick a starting XI, because everyone is doing so well.

“Lads work in such an integrated fashion style and that’s the attitude I want them to choose. We needed strength in depth, so it’s true that we make the most of it.”

Sandro Tonali was particularly impressive in midfield, completing more passes (72) than any other Milan player and leading a team 10 times.

Puelli was delighted with his performance and believes the 20-year-old is starting to find his footing in San Siro.

“Sandro Tonali took two steps forward in his performance this evening.” “It must have taken a while for him to settle down after the pre-season, so I’m growing in the team and I’m very satisfied with finding the form.

“It’s perfect for creating competition for places.”

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