Stefano Pioli credited his Milan players for their efforts in a "perfect week" after Junior Messias' goal guided them to victory at Monza.

Messias' well-taken volley ensured Milan secured a third 1-0 win in the space of eight days, having previously gone seven games without winning across all competitions.

While that run left Milan's Scudetto defence in tatters, the Rossoneri are third in the Serie A table after keeping three clean sheets in a row for the first time since a run of seven ended last April.

Having seen Milan build on Tuesday's Champions League last-16 victory against Tottenham, Pioli hailed his team's powers of recovery and challenged them to kick on.

"It was the perfect week, we can start over from here," Pioli said at his post-match press conference. "We haven't even conceded a goal and we're on the right track.

"We needed to regain unity, the difference now isn't tactics but the desire we've regained to win, to compete for the second balls.

"Monza were brilliant in the second half but we fought until the end and this is important. It's a shame we didn't finish the game in the second half."

Milan have now won back-to-back Serie A games for the first time since the Italian top flight restarted after the World Cup, having only tasted victory twice in their previous five league contests.

Pioli's decision to switch to a three-man backline has provoked Milan's revival, with wing-backs Messias and Theo Hernandez impressing once again at Monza.

Asked about Milan's change of system, Pioli said: "We'll go back to playing with four when we find the right characteristics.

"Malik Thiaw gives us physicality and the possibility of duelling with physical forwards. The other players also have the characteristics to play in a three."