AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli believes that going down to 10 men against a ‘very strong team’ was ultimately too much for his side to deal with.
It was a night that was certainly not lacking any drama as Inter ended up prevailing 2-1 in injury time with a Christian Eriksen free-kick.
Milan took the lead in the first half through Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s strike off the far post, though the Swede saw red early in the second half for a second booking.
His first yellow card had come on the stroke of half-time as he got into a heated exchange with Romelu Lukaku who was very lucky to stay on the pitch after his carry-on, but stay on he did and he converted the penalty to make it 1-1.
That penalty had been a very debatable one too even after a VAR review, as was the free-kick incident that ended with Eriksen converting.
Pioli was interviewed by Rai Sport after the game, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
On the game: “We are sorry to have gone out, we were keen on the competition. The game told us that we can keep up with a very strong team, having ten men has complicated the situation.”
On the Ibra-Lukaku incident: “It influenced [the game], the first warning caused the sending off. They are adults and vaccinated, I don’t know what they said, it can happen, you have to get over it and think about the next one.”
On the red card: “With ten it became even more difficult, we became a little naive about the penalty foul. It’s a good performance, I come out of this defeat very confident about our future.”
On what made the difference: “The difference was only the fact that there were ten of us left, in eleven against eleven the game was open to any result and we were ahead.”
On Ibra’s foul: “He got a bit caught up in the desire to help the team, he could slow down the game a bit but he can stay on.”