Pioli: ‘Ibrahimovic denies he insulted ref’

by | Apr 10, 2021 19:17 | Latest

Stefano Pioli reveals what Zlatan Ibrahimovic said to get himself sent off against Parma and warns Milan they ‘wasted too much energy’ thinking about the future.

The 3-1 victory at the Stadio Tardini was very hard fought, because after Ante Rebic and Franck Kessie goals, Ibrahimovic saw red for dissent an hour in.

They held on for the three points and Rafael Leao came off the bench to seal the result in stoppages.

Stefano Pioli reveals what Zlatan Ibrahimovic said to get himself sent off against Parma and warns Milan they ‘wasted too much energy’ thinking about the future.

The 3-1 victory at the Stadio Tardini was very hard fought, because after Ante Rebic and Franck Kessie goals, Ibrahimovic saw red for dissent an hour in.

They held on for the three points and Rafael Leao came off the bench to seal the result in stoppages.

“I like it when my players respect and reflect the same sensations we have in the staff. It was a delicate week because we knew that we weren’t up to Milan standards against Sampdoria and had to deliver today.

“Parma are tough to play, we messed things up ourselves at one stage, but the important thing was to win,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“The statistics show we do better away from home. It’s strange and we are evaluating the reasons, but the games are quite similar when playing behind closed doors.

“We want to take Milan back into the Champions League, we’ve got strong competition from Juventus, Atalanta, Napoli, Lazio and Roma, so we have to take it one game at a time and keep going.

“These are all teams capable of winning eight or nine in a row, so we can take absolutely nothing for granted. Maybe we wasted too much time and energy thinking about the future or other situations. If you think too much about the game in a month’s time, you won’t focus enough on the one that is coming up.

“We need to get back to the points average we had at the start of the season, but we can only do that if we take it one game at a time.”

The game changed when Ibrahimovic received a straight red card for saying something to the referee, but it really wasn’t at all clear what was said.

“Zlatan told me he discussed something with the referee for a while, but did not show a lack of respect and absolutely did not insult him. I haven’t spoken to Maresca, so I don’t know.

“Zlatan told me the final thing he said was: ‘So you’re not interested in what I have to say?’ I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.

“The positive is that my team managed to get the victory with great determination.”

Fikayo Tomori was again impressive and the pressure is on for Milan to activate the purchase clause from Chelsea.

“He has made a wonderful impact and settled in so quickly, he has other characteristics of pace and of playing out from the back that can certainly improve us as a team. He is a player who is certainly giving us a lot and the intention is to keep him.”

Finally, Pioli was asked what advice he would give to Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose contract expires in July.

“I would advise Gigio to stay at Milan because it is a top club and we are building something here. I call my players fighters who haven’t won yet, but are training to win.”

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