Pioli: Milan believed in Scudetto triumph more than Inter
Stefano Pioli says Milan's Scudetto triumph was fully deserved as they were more consistent than Inter and showed more belief than their fierce rivals.
Milan ended their 11-year wait to finish top of Serie A with a 3-0 win at Sassuolo on Sunday, rendering Inter's win at home to Sampdoria by the same scoreline meaningless.
The Rossoneri finished two points ahead of erstwhile champions Inter to claim their first trophy since the 2016 Italian Super Cup some 1,976 days ago.
Pioli's men won their final five matches and went 15 without defeat to see out the campaign, with their final tally of 88 points their second best ever in the three-points-per-win era.
And after a gripping title battle with Inter that went down to the final game – the first time that has happened in Serie A since 2009-10 – Pioli was full of praise for his players.
"They are phenomenal," he told DAZN. "I am happy for them, for myself, for the fans, the club. This Scudetto makes us all very happy.
"We showed more consistency than Inter. The last game we lost was against Spezia in January and even then we shouldn't have lost it.
"The team never gave up; all the players were fantastic. We fully deserved this Scudetto because we believed in it more. We are a strong team and I have great staff around me."
Olivier Giroud scored twice for Milan in their title-clinching win at Sassuolo and Franck Kessie added a third before half-time.
Rafael Leao assisted two of those strikes and has been involved in at least one goal in his past six league appearances, including three strikes of his own.
The Portugal international was named as Serie A's Most Valuable Player for 2021-22, while Pioli was named Coach of the Year.
"I have the players and the club to thank for that," Pioli said. "This award is for them. Without them what we achieved would not have been possible."