MILAN : The experience of defeat by Liverpool will make AC Milan better prepared for their next Champions League clash against Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, coach Stefano Pioli said on Monday.
The Rossoneri, returning to Europe’s top club competition this season for the first time in eight years, suffered a 3-2 defeat at Anfield in their opening Group B game.
Pioli's side are aiming to climb off the foot of the standings on Tuesday at San Siro, against an Atleti side who drew 0-0 with Porto two weeks ago.
"We have seen that small details make the difference in these matches," Pioli told a news conference.
"We conceded goals at Anfield because of some carelessness and technical errors, we need to play at a very high level; play simple, fast without making wrong decisions, because they can hurt you at any moment.
"We are talking about opponents who have played in the Champions League for years, who have reached finals. I believe the experience in Liverpool can help us to be more prepared and competitive against a very strong team.”
Pioli’s side are unbeaten in Serie A this season and head into the game on the back of wins over Venezia and Spezia.
Atleti lost 1-0 at Alaves on Saturday and have one win in their last four in all competitions.
"I do not agree that they are in a bad moment, until Saturday they were unbeaten and they are still near the top of the La Liga table," he said.
"They are a strong team with a well-prepared coach and players of a very high level, who are ready to pounce on any small error. We must be careful and focused for 90 minutes."
The match will hold special significance for Milan playmaker Brahim Diaz, who is on loan from Atleti’s city rivals Real Madrid.
The 22-year-old has been in fine form, scoring three goals in his last four games, including one against Liverpool.
"Atletico Madrid have a squad packed with talented players who work hard. I don’t know if they are the best team in Spain, but they are certainly very strong," Diaz said.
"We saw that they win a lot of games in the last few minutes, they are a very complete team."
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Ed Osmond)