AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli has revealed that he vented his frustrations at referee Daniel Siebert following the Rossoneri’s controversial 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
The Serie A champions faced an uphill battle after centre-back Fikayo Tomori was sent off for pulling back Mason Mount just 18 minutes into the contest, conceding a penalty in the process. Jorginho slotted home the penalty, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang settled the game in the second half.
His dismissal caused shock and anger amongst the Milan squad and supporters, whilst Siebert went on to book five other players in the first half alone in a difficult evening for the German.
“No, I don’t want to review the incident because it’s too easy to judge,” Pioli told La Gazzetta dello Sport after the final whistle at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
“I told the referee what I thought of it, but I’m not going to reveal exactly what I said. I don’t speak fluent English but he definitely understood.
“I felt that we could enjoy a good performance and put them in difficulty, but after this incident the match became extremely difficult, even if we had two or three chances to get back into it. We needed a bit of luck, which we didn’t have, but I feel that we were up against it,” the tactician added.
Pioli remains optimistic
The defeat leaves Milan in third place in Group E with two games left to play, and they could find themselves on the brink of elimination if they fail to beat Dinamo Zagreb next.
However, Pioli remained upbeat about his side’s chances of pipping Chelsea or RB Salzburg into qualifying for the knockout rounds.
“In any case, this is another negative result that does not change the development of the group. We still have our fate in our hands,” he continued.
“If we want to show that we are competitive in Europe, we need to win the last two games. We have to believe we can do it.
“It remains a great regret that we did not have the opportunity to show our magnificent fans how much we wanted to win such a big match,” Pioli concluded.