Pioli proud of AC Milan players after reaching Champions League quarterfinals

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli was proud of his players after reaching the Champions League quarterfinals.

Ultimately the Brahim Diaz goal at San Siro proved enough as Milan drew 0-0 at Tottenham on Wednesday night.

“We did well. We asked the team to play with character and we could’ve had more possession in the first half, to be honest,” Pioli said.

“We never let go. It is a thoroughly deserved qualification considering the way we played over the two legs.”

It is the first time Milan have reached the Champions League quarter-final since 2012.

“We need to take it one step at a time. It was important first of all to get past the group stage and an improvement on last season, now we wait for the draw and see what happens.

“We’ll be paired with a great opponent, but Tottenham are a big team too and we can always have our say. It is good to dream. Now we need to focus on Serie A, where we have some lost ground to make up.

“It is wonderful to play in the Champions League, gratifying and important for Milan. So either we win it, which would not be easy, or try to qualify by finishing in the top four in Serie A.”

He added, “I like to think there’s nothing impossible in sport. Clearly, only the best in Europe remain and each round gets more difficult, but I am sure that all the experiences in Europe – especially the negative ones – help us to step up a level. Now we must go into the quarter-final with confidence and belief.”

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