AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli says Zlatan Ibrahimovic has apologised after he was sent off during his side’s 2-1 defeat to rivals Inter Milan on Tuesday.
Ibrahimovic gave his side the lead in the Coppa Italia quarterfinal, 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.
“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,” he said.
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.
By Ofhani Munyai