Serie A: Pioli bemoans lack of service as Ibrahimovic returns in drab draw

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was back in a Milan shirt on Monday and Stefano Pioli hopes his team get used to having the striker in their ranks.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his first Serie A performance in 2974 days as a second-half substitute at San Siro.   -  Getty Images

Stefano Pioli was pleased with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's performance but was frustrated AC Milan did not make better use of him in the 0-0 draw with Sampdoria.

Ibrahimovic, who returned for a second spell at the club this week, made his first Serie A performance in 2974 days as a second-half substitute at San Siro.

The 38-year-old saw a header saved by Emil Audero but was generally starved of service as Milan controlled possession but failed to offer enough cutting edge in attack.

Pioli now hopes the players can get used to having Ibrahimovic in the side in order to make the most of his goalscoring threat.

"From my perspective, his impact was positive," the Rossoneri boss told Sky Sport Italia. "He gave us presence and support. In my opinion, the team isn't yet used to having that presence. At the end of the game, I think we could have looked for him more.

"When it comes to quality, it's also down to the choices made, particularly in the last quarter of an hour, when the energy was lower.

"We've always been a skilled team in the build-up, skilled in dribbling, and we did that today. Now, there are other solutions we have to be good at exploiting."

Pioli admitted a lack of quality continues to hold Milan back, with Monday's San Siro stalemate leaving it 12th in the table, 13 points adrift of the top four.

"We obviously wanted to win and the fact we didn't manage to is certainly disappointing," he said. "We almost played in the middle of Sampdoria's half. We put an impressive number of balls into their area but lacked quality. We didn't lack for desire and generosity, but we couldn't find the right chance."

When asked where more quality should come from, he said: "From all AC Milan players. We needed more precision but, I repeat, we got into their box many times."

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