Zlatan Ibrahimovic refused to make excuses as his Milan side were outplayed and beaten 3-0 by Atalanta at San Siro tonight.
Milan went into the game looking to keep their position at the top of the table and to do so in style, but the away side ended up running riot once again against their Lombardy neightbours.
Cristian Romero opened the scoring for the visitors with a close range header, then Josip Ilicic doubled the advantage in the second half from the penalty spot after he had been elbowed by Franck Kessie.
The misery was compounded as Duvan Zapata made it 3-0 late on, and Inter’s draw against Udinese means the Diavolo stay top. Ibrahimovic spoke to Sky Italia after the game, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
What went wrong today? “We missed a lot today. We missed so many things. I don’t want to have so many excuses, you have to enter all matches to get the result. Today we didn’t succeed. Now the important thing is to recover and think about the next game.”
“In 38 games we have lost only two. When there are so many players missing, players who do not have much experience and who have few matches in Serie A come in. It’s no excuse. You work and make sacrifices. We are winter champions. but it gives me nothing.”
On Tuesday’s derby: “The beauty is that the next game is in a few days, we will have the chance to do better. Now we have to recover and prepare well.”
Would you like to play with Ilicic? “If you put real pressure on him, it’s difficult for him. Today he had a lot of space, he could score even more goals. It’s the same for me. If no one presses me, it’s easier for me too.”
Inter’s draw with Udinese means the Rossoneri remain top by two points and have earned the title of ‘Winter Scudetto’.
“We are halfway through, this means that we have done well so far. Now it is the most difficult period with many games. Now we need to be physically well.”
On the offensive phase: “In the first half I felt alone, when I get the ball someone has to be close to me. Instead I felt alone, but it can also be the pressure of Atalanta.”
On Mandzukic: “He doesn’t talk much, you can see. I tried to welcome him in Slavic, in Italian. The coach asked him if he wanted to say something to the team and he said no. He is a man of few words, very serious and concentrated.”
How do you react? “Now let’s think about the next match. It is important to recover well, think positively, learn from mistakes, which in any case is not a very fast process.”