Fikayo Tomori challenged his team-mates to show the “real Milan” when they face Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday after losing comprehensively in London last week.
Former Chelsea defender Tomori did not enjoy the happy homecoming he might have dreamt of at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday, as Milan were beaten 3-0.
That was Milan’s heaviest group-stage defeat in Champions League history, as the Rossoneri barely laid a glove on their hosts.
Milan had just four attempts at goal. Only twice since at least the 2003-04 season have Chelsea faced fewer shots in a Champions League game, with Malmo managing two in October last year and Galatasaray tallying three in 2014.
Stefano Pioli’s side responded on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Juventus in Serie A, Tomori getting one of the goals, and he is eager for the defending Italian champions to produce a performance more befitting of their status when Chelsea visit San Siro.
“After Chelsea I was angry and I wanted to give everything on the pitch, then I scored and I felt this [intense] feeling: I was excited and happy,” he told reporters when asked about his passionate celebration on Saturday.
“I wanted to cancel out the game in London, and scoring was a good feeling.
“[The Chelsea defeat] was a bad game for us, we didn’t play as usual or as I’ve become used to seeing over the last year and a half.
“But we managed to react positively, playing an excellent match against Juve. This allowed us to ward off the defeat against Chelsea and we are here to take our revenge.
“I always [try to] do my best in every match; last week I didn’t succeed, but football always gives you another chance and we will try to make the most of it.”
He added: “Certainly, we will show that we can do much better. We don’t need motivation: we will certainly push harder.
“We want to win every match. We are angry because we didn’t win in London, we want to eradicate that performance. We weren’t the real Milan, it wasn’t the one I’ve seen. We have to learn from London.”
While Milan have not beaten Chelsea in Europe in five matches since 1966, the Blues are winless away to an Italian side in the Champions League going back to 2003, a run of seven games.
Chelsea lost their most recent Champions League away game on matchday one when defeated by Dinamo Zagreb, a loss that ultimately cost Thomas Tuchel his job.
Now under the guidance of Graham Potter, Chelsea have proven that was a momentary blip: Pioli hopes Milan can make a similar point.
“We have to show that [the Stamford Bridge game] was a single episode and that it cannot be normal for our level,” the coach said.
“We were disappointed. [Tuesday] will be another game, but we have to learn from the situations of last week; we evaluated the mistakes, Chelsea exploited them.
“We must not be worried: yes disappointed for London, but this is another match and we must be able to play at our level.”