Montella salutes Milan’s group effort

Milan head coach Vincenzo Montella has lauded his players for standing up to Juventus in their 1-0 win over the Serie A leaders on Saturday.

Manuel Locatelli scored the only goal of the game at the Giuseppe Meazza to steer AC Milan to within two points of the Old Lady after nine matches.

After the match, a buoyant Montella told Milan TV: "Juve are a great team, full of top players and we are proud because we stood up to them. At times we were a bit tense, but in terms of occasions created we were not inferior to them."

He added: "In the locker room, the boys were really happy. When you lose self-confidence it's not easy and these boys deserve a joy.

"The group is the key factor, especially those who are not playing that much are proving to be essential for this group, and they will be crucial throughout the entire season."

Montella added that seeing the players salute the fans was a touching experience.

"Watching the boys saluting the Curva Sud after the match was really moving, it somehow reminded me of when I was a red and black fan as a kid," he said.

"The fans wanted to celebrate and it was something you could actually sense it in the air. It was the perfect night, and it's all thanks to the boys. They gave everything they had, we must always play with this mentality."