Maldini baffled by VAR after Fiorentina draw: “I’ve never seen a penalty like that”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini was furious with the officiating crew in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

There were a number of controversial incidents in the game, starting with when Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw a goal ruled out for an alleged handball that looked like a harsh call upon replay, even though VAR was used.

Ante Rebic gave Milan a second half lead with a deflected strike, and Dalbert was shown a straight red card once again after consultation with VAR for a last man challenge.

It seemed as though the Rossoneri would see the game out until the dying moments, when Romagnoli was punished for a challenge on Patrick Cutrone inside the area. The spot kick was upheld despite replays showing he seemingly got a foot on the ball.

Stefano Pioli had his say after the game, fighting the corner of his defender by insisting that he got the ball in the challenge.

Maldini also spoke to DAZN following the full-time whistle and expressed similar confusion as to how the decision was reached, and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews.

“Unfortunately the point remains, we played better than Fiorentina, we were deservedly ahead, we didn’t manage to manage the game in the right way,” he said.

“There is a little annoyance on the penalty, in previous games we did an exercise to understand the refereeing choices but the call of the VAR does not convince us. If this is a penalty I can’t understand it.

“Two years ago I felt much more secure. He told us that the touch must be decided, it was enough that the referee lost thirty seconds to go to see it again. From there the game has changed.

“We are a young team, it is difficult to keep going for 90 minutes, especially when under pressure. Today most of the faults are ours, the game was in control, the team played badly 11 against 10.

“Milan must be brave and must always enter the field to win. We started with another manager, we made a painful change. The base of the future, however, is being seen.”

On Gabbia: “He made incredible improvements, he came from Lucchese, he was able to raise the level, he won the trust of Giampaolo and then Pioli. In the end, instead of returning to the market after Duarte’s injury, we focused on him.”

On CEO Ivan Gazidis’ words regarding the future of the club, he added: “Today I would talk about football, there is a lot of talking. Either the VAR must be simplified or clarified, the non-call hurts everyone. It has solved many things, the use must be done differently.

“Today when Ibra scored, they went to see and cancelled it, on Dalbert’s foul they went to see and they expelled him. I don’t understand why he didn’t go to see the third time. Judging that touch was not enough touch is complicated, I don’t think it’s easy for a referee to understand when a touch is strong.

“I’ve never seen a penalty like that, you can see that there is no penalty. Being able to understand the extent of the touch is impossible, the rule seems to me to always be that.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini