Friuli

Next Game

Udinese v Inter

Tuesday, 28 April 2015, 19:45

Italian Serie A

Last Game

Inter 0 - 0 AC Milan

Sunday, 19 April 2015, 19:45

Italian Serie A

Allegri praises cool Mario

AC Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Mario Balotelli for rising above a hostile reception from Inter Milan fans to play a key role in Sunday night's derby clash.

Last Updated: 25/02/13 at 13:10 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Praised by Allegri

Mario Balotelli: Praised by Allegri

The points were shared at the San Siro as Italy striker Balotelli faced his former club for the first time since leaving for Manchester City in 2010, with an Ezequiel Schelotto header cancelling out Stephan El Shaarawy's cool opener for Milan.

There were certainly hearty whistles and boos for 22-year-old Balotelli, but reports in Italy suggested fans had also directed racist abuse at the striker, who enjoyed at least three solid chances on goal only to come up against inspired Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

Allegri, whose side remain one point better off than their city rivals, told acmilan.com: "I'm happy with the players and let's not forget that Balotelli is only 22 years old.

"This was the first time that he played against his former team, the team where he grew up as a player.

"It's normal that he would be under a bit of pressure for this match. He did well not to react to any of the provocations on the pitch.

"I'm happy with his performance but a bit disappointed as he could have scored but didn't."

Allegri's assistant Mauro Tassotti was banished from the bench as tensions frayed in the second half and he cut a frustrated figure from the stands as Milan were forced to settle for a single point.

"When you take the lead as we did, a draw leaves a bitter taste in the mouth," he said.

"Balotelli had three goalscoring chances and it was a very special match for a player of his age. Basically all the goalscoring chances fell to him.

"He's an outstanding forward but you can't demand that he scores in every game that he plays."

Defender Cristian Zapata echoed his coaches' words concerning his new team-mate.

He said: "It was a really special game for Balotelli as the whistles from the fans were loud but he's a real champion and he'll be back.

"Lazio are the next visitors to the San Siro and we have to make sure we get all three points against them."

Inter head coach Andrea Stramaccioni, meanwhile, was not too disappointed to see a run of three straight derby wins snapped as the draw kept his side in touch with the Champions League places and ahead of the chasing pack.

"I think a draw was the fair result in the end," he told inter.it. "AC Milan were superb in the first half but we were determined to get ourselves back into it and we ended the game stronger.

"I have to thank Handanovic for his brilliant saves as well."

Having been under the cosh for 45 minutes Inter raised their game and Stramaccioni saw signs his players have learned their lesson from a humbling 4-1 defeat at Fiorentina.

He added: "The most unfair criticism is that which has been aimed at the players.

"It's right that I should come in for some flak because I'm a young coach and something of a novice but the players aren't.

"Lazio lost badly the day after our defeat in Florence but theirs was seen as a slip-up, whereas in our case it was described as a tragedy, people saying our players have run out of steam... and so on.

"But as it turned out, Inter held their own against an AC Milan side in world-class form."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Arsenal's title drought is 'boring'

Jose Mourinho laughed off the Arsenal crowd's "boring" jibes by reminding the Gunners of their decade-long wait for the title.

Eden Hazard lands PFA Player of the Year award

Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard was named the PFA Player of the Year on Sunday evening.

Louis van Gaal had a feeling Man Utd were not right after watching warm-up

Louis van Gaal says he knew something was wrong with his Man Utd players by watching the warm-up before the defeat at Everton.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company