AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella defended his “carefully pondered choices” in making changes to his lineup as his side fell 3-0 at Genoa on Tuesday,
Montella gave Keisuke Honda his first start of the season over Suso for the midweek clash, while Andrea Poli was inserted at right-back.
But the coach said he didn’t make the changes lightly.
“My choices were pondered carefully and considered in full,” Montella told Mediaset Premium. “Obviously I couldn’t know beforehand how it would turn out.
“Suso came off the bench and did well, but could’ve done even better, because physically Genoa were wiped out.
“Every game is different, the team showed character, but with highs and lows. Genoa took away our depth and defended on the edge of the box. That is their strength and my choice of players was also based on those characteristics.”
Milan had a chance to go top of the table overnight but were overwhelmed by the hosts after Gabriel Paletta was dismissed for a late sliding tackle on Luca Rigoni.
“It was a difficult match, which we expected. In the first half our tempo was too slow, but I don’t remember a genuine Genoa shot on goal, so the result did not reflect the performances,” Montella said.
“In the second half I liked the team much better. We didn’t want to lose and tried to fight back, but the red card made everything more complicated.
“Even down to 10 men we went close to a goal. We were in the game, physically and psychologically, but going 2-0 down on the counter ended it.
“Looking at the footage, fortunately for Rigoni he didn’t get him with the studs, but from the pitch you could see he was out of control and it was reckless.”