Stefano Pioli shoulders blame as AC Milan look to turn form around against PSG

Under-fire AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli has accepted responsibility for his team’s faltering form as the Rossoneri seek to revive their Champions League campaign against Paris St Germain.

Milan go in to the San Siro clash winless in four games and desperate to recover from the shock 1-0 Serie A home defeat to lowly Udinese.

Boos from disgruntled fans greeted the final whistle on Saturday with the setback coming after losing to Juventus and drawing with Napoli in the league, as well as being beaten 3-0 by PSG at the Parc des Princes two weeks ago.

Italy Soccer Serie A

“In times and situations such as these talk is cheap. It’s all about walking the walk,” Pioli said at his pre-match press conference for Tuesday’s PSG return.

“The club is really doing everything in its power to make sure I can work in the best possible conditions to provide a competitive team.

“If we have produced under-par displays recently then that’s on me, but I will focus on working hard and do everything to best prepare for the match.

“We disappointed our fans and ourselves on Saturday, that’s fairly clear. If they booed us it means we were pretty poor and we’re aware of that.

“But we have the opportunity to put things right and start playing like Milan again.”

Milan have not scored in three Champions League games this term and are bottom of Group F with two points at the halfway stage.

France Soccer Champions League

PSG top the section with six points, with Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle – who meet in Germany on Tuesday – both on four.

Pioli said: “We can no longer hope for other results to be positive for us. We need to start getting points ourselves.

“We need to stay very focused and switched on in both phases of the game, as PSG can hit you at any moment because of the pace and quality of their forwards.

“They are also a team that can allow you some space and we need to be more clinical when some of those situations arise, as they did in the first game.”

Former Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma returns to the San Siro for the first time since leaving for PSG in the summer of 2021.

Milan’s current number one Mike Maignan, the former PSG academy goalkeeper and France international, said: “We know he didn’t leave the club on good terms and our supporters are very passionate.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty tricky reception for Donnarumma, but he’s a world-class goalkeeper and he’s had a good start to the season.”

Paris Saint-Germain v AC Milan – UEFA Champions League – Group F – Parc des Princes

PSG have won five successive games since losing 4-1 in the Champions League to Newcastle on October 4, scoring three times on each occasion.

France forward Ousmane Dembele said: “It’s a great feeling. We’re getting to know each other better and better after playing three to four months together now.

“We’ve received a lot of instructions and tactical work from the coach (Luis Enrique), and we try to apply it in matches.

“We’ve prepared well for the big match in the Champions League.”

Christian Pulisic, Samuel Chukwueze and Theo Hernandez are all available after injury for Milan, while Marco Asensio again misses out for PSG.