Suspension incoming: AC Milan boss Pioli reveals referee apology after injury-time chaos dents Serie A title hopes
AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has confirmed that the man in charge of the club’s meeting with Spezia this evening issued an apology to his side’s players, after essentially costing them all three points.
Gyasi strikes at the death
The Rossoneri were of course back in action a short time ago.
Amid a concerted push to keep pace with city rivals Inter at the summit of Serie A, Pioli and co. welcomed minnows Spezia to the San Siro, desperate to make it four wins on the trot in the Italian top-flight.
As alluded to above, however, when all was said and done, Milan’s title hopes were dealt an altogether hefty blow.
The hosts actually took the lead on the evening, when Rafael Leao carried forth a fine spell of individual form in lobbing home on the stroke of the interval, just minutes after Theo Hernandez had fluffed his lines from the penalty spot.
Spezia, however, soon made Milan pay for a host of missed chances, when Kevin Agudelo levelled things up at the front post just past the hour mark.
And yet another twist remained in the tale…
First, as proceedings rolled into injury-time, the hosts had what looked set to prove an all-important winner chalked off.
After Ante Rebic was felled on the edge of the area, the ball fell to Junior Messias, who bent a gorgeous left-footed finish inside the far post.
Marco Serra, the man in charge of proceedings at the San Siro, however, blew his whistle just as the ball arrived in Messias’ sights, pulling the game back for a free-kick, which was subsequently missed.
And the drama didn’t end there, as, with a full 95 minutes on the clock, Spezia broke away down the other end, to break Milanese hearts courtesy of Emmanuel Gyasi’s coolly-taken winner.
Highlights: AC Milan 1-2 Spezia
Serra to face consequences
The Rossoneri, as a result of tonight’s injury-time s**tshow, saw the opportunity to leapfrog Inter to the top of Serie A slip through their fingers.
It should therefore not come as all that much of a surprise to hear that the fallout from the clash has since been as intense as it has swift.
Speaking post-match, AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli revealed that referee Serra actually issued an apology to his side’s players, owing to his costly error:
‘I tried to calm my players down, but I didn’t manage as Spezia’s goal proves.’
‘We knew it was an injustice, we have ourselves to blame, but we share responsibility with the referee. I am sorry to say that. He even apologised, maybe that wasn’t even a fault. It’s a shame.’
Milan coach Stefano Pioli says referee Marco Serra apologised to Milan players after he cancelled out a late Junior Messias goal, seconds before Spezia’s winner. https://t.co/1t7AeQdG10 #MilanSpezia #SerieA #ACMilan #Milan #Calcio #Pioli
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) January 17, 2022
Not only that, but La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Referees Association in the Italian top-flight have too sent an apology the way of Pioli and co., on the back of a night to forget for Serra and his team.
The official himself, meanwhile, looks set for an imminent suspension, amid suggestions that he will be banned from overseeing fixtures in either of the next two rounds of Serie A:
L’Aia si scusa con il Milan per gli errori di Serra, l’arbitro verso un lungo stop #MilanSpezia https://t.co/MsOR3H96fL
— La Gazzetta dello Sport (@Gazzetta_it) January 17, 2022
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