'Pulisic and Leao have confidence' - AC Milan coach stands by decision to bring on Chukwueze as late sub 

Published: April 12, 2024
'Pulisic and Leao have confidence' - AC Milan coach stands by decision to bring on Chukwueze as late sub 

AC Milan boss Stefan Pioli has defended his decision to bring on Samuel Chukwueze for either Christian Pulisic or Rafael Leão during the closing stages of their 1-0 loss to Roma in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League played on Thursday night at the San Siro.

A goal from Gianluca Mancini in the 17th of the clash condemned the Rossoneri to their first home loss since January and left them on the brink of elimination.

Chukwueze was brought on in the 78th minute, replacing Pulisic as the home side were desperate to rescue themselves from the jaws of defeat and the Nigeria international had a good cameo off the bench.

The 24-year-old came close to setting up the equalizer in the 87th minute when he gave Olivier Giroud a pass inside the box but the France international's effort came off the crossbar.

He also came close to scoring three minutes earlier but his shot from the edge of the box couldn't hit the target.

Speaking during his post match conference, Pioli revealed the reason behind bringing on Chukwueze despite his recent form.

"Pulisic and Leao have confidence, players like them, even on a difficult evening, can make an important play. I made the changes when I thought it was right, " Pioli told Sky Sport via Daily Milan.

The 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup winner has been decisive for AC Milan in recent weeks and has led to calls that he deserves more game time, particularly ahead of Pulisic.

The duo have been Pioli's options at right wing but the USMNT key man has had more game time and been in better form than the Nigerian winger all season.

Abdulkareem Abdulhamid 


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