Ranieri: ‘I’m sorry for what Stefano Pioli is going through’


Claudio Ranieri says he doesn’t blame his players for their 5-1 loss to Cagliari and admitted he has some sympathy for Stefano Pioli. Goals from Ismael Bennacer, Christian Pulisic, Tijjani Reijnders and Rafael Leao helped Milan return to winning ways, but leaves Cagliari perched above the relegation spaces with two games of the season left.

Speaking with Sky Sport Italia, Ranieri lamented the loss, admitting his side were too timid throughout the match:

“Five goals seem like a lot to me, but they managed to score them, so credit to them. In the first half, we were too timid when we should have been more aggressive; in the second half, we hit the post, and Sportiello made several saves. We need to focus on the season we’ve had.”

“We knew today was a wildcard match, and whatever happened, we had to accept it. We came here aware that we needed to put on a good performance.”

He continued: “I don’t blame the players for anything, just that we were too timid. We could have managed a couple of counterattacks better.”

“As for how many points we need for safety? I don’t know; it depends on many things. We’ll see. There’s a crucial game against Sassuolo that I believe will decide a lot. There are two matches left, and we’ll do our best. We’ve conceded too many goals due to our approach to the game. There’s no time, however, to dwell on these things and lament; we need to focus on the next two matches.”

There’s also space for a memory and a thought about his mother, Renata: “What would my mom say? ‘Do what you’ve always done.’ She often scolded me for my lineup choices (laughs). I don’t think she would reproach me today. I told the players that in the first half when we were still compact, we needed to play the ball with more freedom; we were too timid. In the second half, we did a bit more, but then spaces opened up, and they cut through us like butter.”

Finally, a few words for Stefano Pioli, whom Ranieri knows well having coached him: “I’m sorry for what he’s going through. We coaches know that when you win, you’re the best, and when you don’t, they blame us.”


Serie A obsessive.