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‘That was the difference’ Pioli rues Ibrahimovic red card against Inter

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AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli claims the loss to Inter could have taken a different outcome had Zlatan Ibrahimovic not been sent off.

Pioli remained positive about his side’s performance despite a 2-1 derby loss to rivals Inter in the Coppa Italia.

The game started well for the Rossoneri and they broke the deadlock in the 31st minute after a fine finish from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

However, the game turned in the Nerazzurri’s favor after the break. Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Milan a disadvantage after getting sent off for a second yellow card offense in the 58th minute.

Lukaku then converted a penalty in the 71st minute before Eriksen came off the bench to score a last-gasp winner via a free-kick.

Pioli was disappointed to see his side lose after a good performance and claims the red card changed the course of the game.

“It’s disappointing that we went out, because we cared about this competition” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“The performance shows we are a strong team who can hold out well, but going a man down made it much more difficult.”

Lukaku and Ibrahimovic clashed just before half-time and Pioli says that moment played a key part in how the game turned out.

‘The situation was an influence, as the first yellow card then led to the second.” he continued.

“They are two grown-ups, they said something to each other, I don’t know what. It happens, we have to look forward.”

“What didn’t work was that down to 10 men, it was much more complicated, and we were naïve with the foul to give away the penalty.”

“However, I leave this defeat feeling much more positive and confident about our future than I was after the Atalanta game.”

“It was a very balanced match, the only difference was having a man down. If it was 11 against 11, it was open to any result and we were 1-0 up.”