Gennaro Gattuso says Milan were naïve when they made the foul that eventually cost them two extremely crucial points against Parma, and looks ahead.
The Rossoneri thought that their bad spell was over last week when they beat Lazio 1-0 at Stadio San Siro, but Milan’s many problems were again very much evident today as they drew Parma 1-1 away.
The Diavolo were struggling greatly in the first half but Gattuso changed the formation in the second half and so in the 70′ minute Suso found Samu Castillejo with a cross and the ex-Villarreal man scored with a good header.
However, Parma fought back and found a deserved equalizer in the 87′ minute thanks to a great Bruno Alves free kick. At the end of the day, Milan lost an incredible opportunity to give themselves some breathing room and instead find themselves at risk of losing their 4th place in Serie A.
“If there was an involution after the derby and if I’m worried about the crisis? We won against Lazio a week ago,” Gattuso said in the post-match press conference. “The thing that bothers me most is to see how we tackled the game. I saw little vehemence, we were suffering a lot in the first half. We did well and were lucky to find the advantage and then we did something naïve.
“In the first half we were expecting much more. The team has no determination? It’s not a physical matter, we saw a vacant team. It’s not a physical problem, we appeared surprised. We must not talk about a tragedy, but we must analyze why we’re struggling. We must make a few mistakes as possible, there are days in which we leave the first half to the opponents or commit some error. We weren’t suffering after the advantage, we were the suckers to grant that dead ball that we did.
“Why the team entered the field like that? We have the wrong approach, there can be such a day when playing football. We also give Parma credit, they put us in difficulty. If I’m more worried about the draw or the Champions League race? We knew that we could do more. There is some concern, but I’m not desperate. Of course it worries me, I got that taste in my mouth. We conceded a goal from a free kick in the 87′ minute… it’s useless to look at others, we must look at us.
“The formations? We made so many formation changes today. We also played in 4-4-2 because we needed to keep the advantage. We changed again when Biglia came on. Bakayoko? He took a blow, he clenched his teeth a bit but it [taking him off] was a technical choice.
“Conti? The problem was not just Andrea, but the whole team. Paquetá [who was on the bench but was not used in this game]? He returned from an injury [an ankle sprain he suffered against Udinese], because of how the game was played I needed players to give me a physical guarantee.
“If the standings is truthful? In my opinion Atalanta deserve second place for how they play and how they interpret the game. They are always difficult to deal with and in the last 2-3 years they’ve been a thing in Calcio. They’re a team that has ideas, physical strength and is coached by a great coach.”
Gattuso also spoke to Sky Italia: “There are no regrets, in the first half we played with little rhythm. They closed the gaps well and we found very little space. We did well and were lucky to go ahead, then they scored a great goal from a dead ball. They deserved the point.
“We were naïve on the foul of the dead ball that caused the draw. Parma have very specific characteristics, they’re a physical team, they defend themselves in narrow lines and we knew well how they would play. It was hot for both teams, but they had more determination than us at times.
“A bit of humility after the win over Lazio? Maybe I am not a good enough coach yet to let the players realize the importance of these small details. I am objective and like to say things how they are. I expected to come here and do more, albeit knowing the difficulties Parma could cause us.
“The cancelled goal of Cutrone [which would have made it 2-0 to Milan if Piątek wasn’t offside by a few millimeters]? We were also unlucky, it wasn’t very clear. We must look ahead.”
In a MilanTV interview, Rino added: “It wasn’t easy, just as we knew it wouldn’t be. Our performance was sub-par during the first half. We were playing too straight and couldn’t find any outlets. We upped the tempo in the second half but conceded foolishly at the end. We could’ve done a lot more.
“The first half? They had a five-man defense when they didn’t have the ball, however, we knew their style of play. We should’ve done better when in possession, we created chances in the second half though. The management of the game after Castillejo’s goal? They didn’t worry us after Samu’s goal. We were always defending with six against two. It was only one incident that caught us out. We should’ve dealt with the final minutes differently but this is part of football.”
“The formation? We’d already tried it and we’d had success with it. However, let’s not think about the formation but rather on how we’ll approach our next few matches in the best possible way, without any excuses. It was hot out there, but also for them. We lacked the desire to get on the ball.
“The Coppa Italia semi-final [Milan face Lazio for the second leg on Wednesday night]? We must take it game by game. We’ll now focus on Lazio and I know that there will be more than 55,000 fans in attendance. We can’t put in another performance like that of our first half against Parma.”