Reaction: Montella satisfied as Milan grab a point in the capital
15 February at 13:20
AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella admitted that he was proud of his side and the performance it came up with, following the rossoneri’s hard-fought 1-1 draw against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Monday evening.
The draw saw Milan climb to seventh in the table above Montella’s former club Fiorentina, but the Rossoneri are now four points away from fourth placed Inter. Lucas Biglia scored a spot-kick 60 seconds after the interval to hand Simone Inzaghi’s men the lead. It was in the 85th minute that Suso managed to draw level for Milan who left the capital with a share of the spoils.
Milan were without several of their key players including Giacomo Bonaventura, Mattia de Sciglio, Davide Calabria, while the duo of Gabi Paletta and Juraj Kucka were serving their suspensions from the 1-0 win over Bologna. Montella was also forced into sending out a rather makeshift backline that saw Cristian Zapata and Gustavo Gomez start at centre-back and Leonel Vangioni get another run out at left-back. Carlos Bacca was left on the bench and Everton loanee Gerard Deulofeu started up front, flanked by Suso and Lucas Ocampos.
The game provided its fair share of entertainment and the thrills and Montella expressed his satisfaction with Milan’s showing against an impressive Biancocelesti outfit and gave the opinion that he was much happier with the performance, when compared to the win over Bologna, explaining that; "I'm much happier with this match than others where we got the same result. I'm increasingly proud to coach these players, who showed an incredible team spirit.”
He continued; “Every coach has his own analysis, there are many times where I've said that we played better than the other team and then lost. The team used every ounce of energy that we had after Bologna, and we've had better days in terms of quality but this squad has made me emotional because of the effort they put in.”
"It was a very difficult game; it wasn't that we got our approach wrong. The whole left side had never played together, as well as three of the four in the centre. The team is stronger than anything."
Montella was unsure about whether Lazio deserved their penalty and whether they should have been awarded one themselves when Ignazio Abate was brought down by Senad Lulic. He said: “I don’t know if it was a penalty for them, I don’t know if it was one on Abate. We can’t always stand here criticising what happens on the pitch.”
The former Fiorentina boss was also asked his opinion about Milan’s 17-year-old stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who came up with another impressive performance in goal for Milan. Montella said: “I think Milan want to tie him down and that he loves Milan. I’m happy to have him in the team.”