Ibrahimovic and Lukaku clash as Internazionale nab Milan derby

Swedish striker is later sent of as Christan Eriksen scores last gasp Coppa Italia winner

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku clash during a fraught Milan derby. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku clash during a fraught Milan derby. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA

 

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli said Zlatan Ibrahimovic had apologised after he was sent off during his side’s 2-1 defeat to rivals Inter Milan in a fiery derby on Tuesday.

Ibrahimovic gave his side the lead in the Coppa Italia quarter final, drilling in off the post, before tempers became frayed in the San Siro.

Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku, who played together at Manchester United, locked heads and exchanged words at the end of the first half, before the pair had to be restrained as the players left the pitch for the interval.

The referee cautioned both before giving Ibrahimovic another yellow card and a red in the second half for a foul on Aleksandar Kolarov -- the first time the Swede has been sent off in Europe since being dismissed while playing for Paris St Germain at Chelsea in March 2015.

“He (Ibrahimovic) apologised like the great champion he is,” Pioli said. “He got a bit caught up in the desire to help the team.

“It wasn’t easy to stay in the game a man down. The pressure from Inter was strong.”

Inter came from behind to win the match, with a penalty from Lukaku and a 97th-minute winner from Christian Eriksen sending Antonio Conte’s side through to the semi finals.

“We paid for the effort in the last half hour and we couldn’t bring home a positive result,” Pioli added. “It shouldn’t have happened, but that’s how it went.

“We are very sorry because we had prepared for the game well.”

Inter will play the winner of Juventus and SPAL’s quarter-final clash on Wednesday thanks to Eriksen’s late intervention off the bench.

It was the Dane’s first goal of a frustrating season. Eriksen has started just four league games this campaign and has been linked with a move back to England as a result of his struggles in Italy since joining Inter last January.

However, Conte said Eriksen is going nowhere during this winter transfer window.

“I have been repeating for a month that no one will arrive and no one will leave,” Conte said.

“With Christian we are working tactically to find an alternative to (Marcelo) Brozovic, because we don’t have another playmaker in the squad.

“He (Eriksen) is a very intelligent player, he has quality and he is part of the project. I’m happy that he scored that goal today.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.