The Rossoneri lost 2-0 to their Milan rivals after a miserable performance at the San Siro tonight.
Inter came out of the blocks more aggressively, and Edin Dzeko turned in a corner from Hakan Calhanoglu to break the deadlock.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who won the Man of the Match award, doubled the lead a few minutes later.
Inter could have had more as Calhanoglu hit the woodwork. Inter kept their rivals at bay, and Pioli’s side did not manage a shot on target until the second half.
However, the Italian manager is confident his side can overturn the deficit in the second leg.
Pioli told BT Sport (via Football Italia): “Inter played better in the first half and scored two goals. Milan played better in the second half and did not score.
“This is football at this level. Inter had more quality and were more efficient in the first half, while we made too many mistakes for this level.
“Until the seventh minute, Inter had never even stepped into our penalty area, then scored at the first corner. Clearly, we should’ve been more concentrated.
“We wanted a different result, but we must keep believing because an incident can change everything in the second leg.”
Plenty went wrong for Milan today. Star attacker Rafael Leao missed the game through injury.
After Inter went 2-0 up, Ismael Bennacer picked up a knock and had to go off. Injuries have become a running theme for Milan this season.
However, Milan managed to avoid a blowout and are still in the tie.
They could have Leao fit for the second leg and will take some confidence from their second-half performance into next week.
- Everton ten-point deduction reduced to six
- Jurgen Klopp could win the quadruple this season and still not be Liverpool’s best-ever manager
- Chelsea & Man City target set to join Real Madrid in 2024 or 2025
- Cristiano Ronaldo makes obscene gesture at rival supporters chanting ‘Messi’
- Van Dijk leads Liverpool kids to League Cup glory
- Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle United: Magpies gunned down by free-firing Arteta squad
- Man Utd without seven players for Fulham game
- Tottenham ‘seriously’ interested in signing Sebastian Szymanski
- Man City braced for Saudi Pro League bids for Kevin De Bruyne this summer
- League Cup preview: Chelsea vs Liverpool – where to watch, kick-off time, possible line-ups, form guide