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AC Milan boss reacts to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s red card

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan
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The big Swede made headlines for the wrong reasons in AC Milan’s Serie A match against Parma over the weekend.

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli has revealed Zlatan Ibrahimovic denied offending the referee, Fabio Maresca, during a heated exchange.

Zlatan, who assisted Ante Rebic for Milan’s opening goal during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Parma, got a straight red card on the hour-mark following an argument with the referee.

It’s unknown what the 39-year-old told Maresca to earn such a punishment, but it’s not the first time the referee has reacted strongly to dissent either. In fact, he fell out with Antonio Conte back in January. The Inter Milan manager later got a two-match touchline ban.

Asked what Zlatan told Maresca, Pioli told Sky Sport Italia: “He told me he said to the referee, ‘You really don’t care what I tell you?’”

“I was focused on the match,” Pioli added on the club’s media.

“Zlatan told me that he argued with the referee and that the discussion went on, but he told me that he had not offended the referee. The discussion took place and the referee soon reached this decision.”

After Rebic’s eighth-minute opener, Franck Kessie and Rafael Leao scored to seal a 10-man Milan side victory at the Ennio Tardini Stadium.

The Rossoneri will now welcome Genoa, who play Juventus on Sunday, to San Siro for next weekend. Whether Zlatan will be available, however, is uncertain. The Swede is facing a three-match ban for a straight red card, meaning he may not be available again until Milan face Benevento on May 5.