Pioli reveals Ibrahimovic requested to come off and hints formation change is possible

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered a problem towards the end of AC Milan’s derby defeat to Inter which meant he needed to come off, Stefano Pioli has confirmed.

It wasn’t Ibrahimovic or Milan’s day at San Siro as the Swede was denied multiple times by an inspired Samir Handanovic, with the Nerazzurri running out 3-0 winners thanks to a brace from Lautaro Martinez and a third goal from Romelu Lukaku.

There was somewhat of a strange substitution in the closing stages as Samu Castillejo came on for Ibra with Milan needing goals. However, as revealed by Stefano Pioli himself at the end of the game, the 39-year-old asked for a change due to physical discomfort.

Speaking to DAZN (via MilanNews) after the game, the Milan head coach said: “He asked to be replaced due to a cramp in his calf, he was no longer able to detach. Then we’ll see what choices to make for Thursday and Sunday.”

In addition, Pioli also didn’t rule out the idea of a change in formation as he was asked by one of the reporters in the press room: “Could Milan review its formation given the difficulties that have occurred in the last period?”

Pioli replied as follows: “We’ll see, everything is possible. From tomorrow we will make our assessments thinking about the best for the team.”

Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. About time. Pioli is the main one responsible for the last 3-4 weeks of poor performances. Understand the team and players you have and respond accordingly, that’s your job Pioli. Players are at fault too but IMO primarily Pioli recently.

    1. Pioli was on the verge of being replaced and survived with a little luck, but against big teams he has struggled to deliver the right formation

      He still can’t see that his defensive formation is wrong
      His BIG TEST will be Romagnoli and how he deals with this problem

  2. You said he failed to deliver against big team? Last season, all of them were beaten by Milan except Napoli and Atalanta. This season, remember we had defeated Lazio, Inter, Napoli during the first leg. At this point, they need support, this time is crucial. We can’t afford to drop points again. I hope we get back to winning ways, starting with Red star on Thursday

    1. Very true… The team needs our support, not rebuke… We are allowed to b critical of performance but not blaming individuals.

      Our defence appeared porous than usual, we plaid a high defence line yet Romagnoli lacks pace.
      We missed Bennnacer’s holding n distribution skills. Our right attack, as usual was invisible. We need a top right winger, but before that, Leao needs to step in that role as a matter of agency.
      I painfully admit that we are only dangerous when our fullbacks lead the attacks, as witnessed during the early stages of 2nd half.
      It’s always better when Zlatan is playing, he was denied 2 clear goals.

  3. I blame the first person who deserved to be blame, and that is maldini pioli asked for chiesa and milinkovic he failed, we need top players to conqure italy.milan needs to be like PSG N MAN CITY, the bed way to defend is to have a furios attack

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