AC Milan players apologise to ultras following heated confrontation at full-time after defeat to Spezia puts top four hopes in jeopardy… but Simon Kjaer insists the clash was ‘POSITIVE’ ahead of Inter semi-final second leg
- Spezia scored two second half goals as Milan’s recent form got even worse
- Several members of the squad including manager Stefano Pioli were involved
- Milan face rivals Inter on Tuesday as they attempt to overturn a 2-0 deficit
AC Milan’s players confronted their own fans after a shock defeat in Serie A on Saturday.
The Champions League semi-finalists lost 2-0 to Spezia, who are in the relegation places in the division, to round of their nightmare week following defeat to rivals Inter on Wednesday.
The club now find themselves outside of the Champions League places in the league table and their fans didn’t take the result kindly, perhaps still hurting from their weak performance against their rivals.
Several players, including Simon Kjaer, Olivier Giroud and captain Theo Hernandez, went over to thee fans following the full time whistle, with manager Stefano Pioli also involved.
There was some back and forth between the two groups before they went their separate ways for Milan to begin preparation to try and come back from 2-0 down in the Champions League on Tuesday.
AC Milan players were involved in a heated confrontation with their own fans on Saturday
The team lost 2-0 for the second time in a week as they went down to lowly Spezia
Kjar told DAZN via Football Italia that the fans made their feelings clear in the altercation.
He said: ‘They said this evening was insufficient, but there is a game on Tuesday where we need to just cancel today and prepare for another war.
‘I am not sure who started that, to be honest. I saw it in a positive way, I have been surprised by how our fans have been close to us at all times, even when we played badly. I realise it might not be a good look, but they were right behind us.
‘If I knew how to resolve this issue, we’d be in a different position this season. It is difficult to understand why we have struggled so much in this type of game and threw too many points away. It simply wasn’t enough and we need to improve this aspect of our performances.’
Two second-half goals secured lowly Spezia a shock, condemning Pioli’s side to their first league loss in two months and denting their top-four hopes.
Defender Przemyslaw Wisniewski and midfielder Salvatore Esposito helped Spezia earn their first win in nine games and move them closer to safety.
Milan, meanwhile, have won only two of their last seven league matches.
They remained fifth in the standings with 61 points, two behind fourth-placed Inter who host Sassuolo later on Saturday.
Simon Kjaer insisted the clash was ‘positive’ despite the discussions appearing heated
‘It’s normal that the Champions League is on our minds and it’s normal that we were disappointed with the result of the first leg,’ Pioli said.
‘But we know that the season comes from both the championship and the Champions League and this defeat complicates our future.
‘Now we don’t have many chances left to be positive this season. Tuesday is a great opportunity, we have to believe we can beat Inter.’
Milan had clear chances to take the lead in an entertaining first half when Sandro Tonali hit the post in the sixth minute and a powerful shot from outside the box by Theo Hernandez was saved by keeper Bartlomiej Dragowski.
Stefano Piolo’s side face the task of overturning a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday
Milan forward Brahim Diaz hit the outside of the post from a tight angle and Spezia’s Nzola forced Milan keeper Mike Maignan to save a low shot.
Spezia took a surprise lead in the 75th minute following a corner, after Kelvin Amian’s header bounced off the post and Wisniewski netted the rebound.
Esposito sealed the win for Spezia with a stunning free kick which flew into the top left corner five minutes from time.
It was the first time since 2017 that Milan had lost to opponents in the bottom three places in the standings.
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