After losing 3-1 to Olympiacos and exiting the Europa League, AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso made no excuses and admitted his side deserved to be going home.
Going into the match, the Greek side knew that to leapfrog Milan they had to beat them 2-0, 3-1 or by a margin of three goals or more.
And they did get their two goals in a nine minute period in the second half through Pape Abou Cisse, and a Cristian Zapata own goal. But the Milan defender put one in at the other end, only for a Kostas Fortounis penalty to send Olympiacos into the Round of 32.
“There were some things which didn’t go right, and we were penalised,” Gattuso told the press. “It’s part of the game. We were unlucky, and they shouldn’t have had a penalty.
“I’m sorry because after a similar performance with eight chances created, the errors always appear, which condemn us to defeat.
“It’s right to be going home, because on the field we deserved to go out, but in this way is hurts a lot.
“We lacked that killer instinct. I think we are stronger and more of a team than them, but they played with a lot more malice than us.
“It’s too easy to blame individuals. I don’t want to get depressed, we will have to look at the game again, on more than one occasion. To come here and play this type of football, then to go out hurts.
“When we go out onto the field we have to hurt the opponents, instead we tickle them.
“We haven’t made any progress in terms of personality and malice compared to last year.”
After the match, Milan’s general director Leonardo insisted the referee made an error awarding the penalty which ultimately knocked Milan out. While also criticising the antics late in the game in which multiple balls were thrown onto the pitch repeatedly.
“We could have hurt them at the start of the second half,” Gattuso went on. “After that they had more chances.
“It wasn’t a penalty, I cant even accept it after seeing it again five or six times.
“We aren’t looking for excuses, but we have to say some things. The [Multiple] balls on the pitch are not good for football, especially for a club like Olympiacos who have played more than AC Milan in Europe in recent years.
“We didn’t lose because of the referee, we lost because we were chickens [naive].”