Maldini: “We still have to improve, we have not reached our maximum level”

By Oliver Fisher -

Director Paolo Maldini refused to dwell on the refereeing decision which cost the AC Milan the win in their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

Milan and Juventus played out a 1-1 draw at San Siro on Thursday night. After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the Rossoneri took an arguably deserved lead as Ante Rebic continued his fine scoring form with an excellently taken volley.

However, Theo Hernandez saw red inside the final 20 minutes for a second yellow card, and just as it looked as though Milan would still see the game out there was yet more controversy.

Davide Calabria was penalised by VAR as Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot his his elbow from a yard away, and the Portuguese tucked away the spot kick to ensure it would be all square heading into the second leg.

At the end of the game, the Rossoneri’s technical director spoke to Rai Sport’s microphones, and his words were transcribed by

“There are rules that are to be interpreted. But tonight I would not dwell on these things and not even on those disqualified. We had a great game against a team that has so much quality,” he said.

“We still have to improve, we have not reached our maximum level. We create a lot but we score a little, we must be more clinical. There is regret for not having won, but football is this.”

On the return leg: “We will have Ibra, Theo Hernandez and Castillejo out. Eleven players will play and battle to the end. We must not limit ourselves. When there is a game of this level you are caught and you forget the disciplinary things. 

“We ask our players to be combative and from this point of view the team has made a qualitative leap in the last month. The derby could have killed us from a mental point of view, instead that evening we traced a different path.

“AC Milan is made up of the players, the management and the coach. And let’s not forget the fans. People want to see good football and Milan are playing good football.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini
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