Alasdair Mackenzie Date: 27th February 2019 at 12:01am
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AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso admitted that Lazio outplayed his side in their 0-0 Coppa Italia semi-final first leg draw, but applauded his team’s defensive effort.

The Rossoneri earned a goalless draw at the Stadio Olimpico despite being under pressure for most of the match.

It was a repeat of last season’s semi-final, when both legs finished without a goal being scored and Milan eventually triumphed on penalties.

“Lazio today, especially in the first half, anticipated us,” Gattuso said in the post-match press conference. “Their midfield put us under pressure, when they stole the ball.

“[Simone] Inzaghi and I know each other well, maybe it’s a coincidence that the matches have finished 0-0. We’ll see how it ends in two months.

“The few times we came out from their pressure we made mistakes with the final ball on a technical level. We must understand on what track the referee wants to take the game. We all know [Daniele] Orsato, when he referees he never whistles for half-fouls.

“We were always thinking it was a foul and instead we should have continued to play. I agree when you say that Lazio played a lot better than us, but I don’t remember all these great chances they created. We did very well to limit their attacking play.”

Franck Kessie had to come off with an injury during the first half, but Gattuso insisted his absence was not to blame for a below-par performance.

“He took a knock on his knee,” Gattuso explained. “He isn’t carrying any physical problem, but he couldn’t run without pain and asked to come off. Today the problem wasn’t Kessie being taken off.”