Lukaku AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli said Zlatan Ibrahimovic had apologised after he was sent off during his side’s 2-1 defeat to rivals Internazionale in a very fiery derby on Tuesday.
- Ibrahimovic gave his side the lead within the Coppa Italia quarterfinal, drilling in off the post, before tempers became frayed within the San Siro.
Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku, who played together at Manchester United, locked heads and exchanged words at the top of the primary half, before the pair had to be restrained because the players left the pitch for the interval.
The referee cautioned both before giving Ibrahimovic another yellow card and a red within the half for a foul on Aleksandar Kolarov — the primary time the Swede has been sent off in Europe since being dismissed while playing for Paris Saint-Germain at Chelsea in March 2015.
“He [Ibrahimovic] apologised just like the great champion he’s,” Pioli said. “He got a small amount held within the desire to assist the team.
“It wasn’t easy to remain within the game a person 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 semifinals.
“We obtained the trouble within the second half hour and that 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 sport well.”
Inter will play the winner of Juventus and SPAL’s quarterfinal clash on Wednesday due to Eriksen’s late intervention off the bench, although Lukaku will miss the primary leg of the semifinal because of yellow card accumulation.
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 locomote to England as a results of his struggles in Italy since joining Inter last January.