Pioli: "We made mistakes but refereeing should be impartial"

Pioli: "We made mistakes but refereeing should be impartial"

25/09/2017 00:56

Stefano Pioli expressed his frustration after seeing "different refereeing yardsticks" used in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Atalanta.

The Viola were denied two strong penalty claims at the Franchi after the visitors had been awarded a soft penalty – which Marco Sportiello subsequently saved.

However, the coach also admitted that his side should have done more to see the game though.

Did you ask the referee at the end of the game why he didn't use VAR?

“It's our own fault if we didn't win the game because we came up short in those last two situations. That counter-attack was an excellent opportunity either to score or keep the ball up their end of the pitch and when they equalised we didn't defend as a team because we can't give an opposition midfielder that much space to shoot from a long ball pumped forward – and I'm not talking about our backline, because it was up to our midfielders to close him down more. We're disappointed because we could have won the game.

“As for the refereeing, what I don't like to see is a lack of impartiality and I don't think [Luca] Pairetto used the same yardstick with both teams. There were several situations where we weren't given what was due. I find it hard to understand how you can't blow for that foul on [Davide] Astori.”

How did the club's management take it?

“Obviously they're annoyed and angry because it was a tough game. The crowd really got behind us and it would have been a huge win for lots of reasons – our league position, morale and the fans. It's annoying that we didn't manage it, partly through our own fault and partly because the game was affected by factors beyond our control. Tomorrow we'll get going again and focus on the next match.”

Why were Fiorentina more on the back foot in the second half?

“We afforded them too much space, although by dropping off we managed to have a few counter-attacks ourselves. We should have tried to keep possession better but Atalanta made it hard for us physically. There were times when we lost our shape in the second half. In the first half we were more aggressive when not in possession. We went very close to claiming an excellent result against an excellent side.”

Was Marco Benassi dropped or was it simply squad rotation with all these games? Could he play as part of a double pivot?

“First of all, I never 'drop' anyone. For each game I choose the players I think have the best attributes for that specific opponent. I thought considering the sort of team we were up against it would be better to go with a bit more pace out wide. In any case, Benassi was a bit under the weather today – he had a touch of flu. If he had played, I expect I'd have had to take him off. We certainly could see him in a midfield duo in future; we just haven't had the chance yet.”

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