Pioli praises 'champion' Leao after crucial PSG win
Stefano Pioli reserved special praise for Rafael Leao after the winger inspired AC Milan's crucial Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain.
Leao cancelled out Milan Skriniar's opening goal with a superb overhead kick in the 12th minute before a second-half Olivier Giroud header clinched a 2-1 win for the Italian side.
And after a quiet start to the season, the Milan boss was delighted to see his superstar forward come to the Champions League party.
Pioli said: "This must be his standard.
"He can be a champion but it depends only on him.
"He played an exceptional match like everyone else, not only in terms of quality, but also in terms of desire."
Victory for the seven-time European champions — as well as Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 win over Newcastle — has blown Group F wide open, with all four teams realistically able to finish anywhere from top to bottom.
And Pioli knows that after a difficult run of form, his side have set up a crunch game with Dortmund in the next round of fixtures.
He said: "We took an important step forward but the group will only be decided in the last round.
"Now we have a direct clash with Dortmund who are two points ahead of us and it could be decisive.
"Congratulations to the boys. It was an important match for the group but nothing has been decided."
After suffering defeat to Udinese in Serie A on Saturday, Milan's first focus will be on a return to domestic form at Lecce this weekend.
They then have a home game against Fiorentina before that huge European encounter in three weeks' time.