Stefano Pioli was “very proud” of Milan after their 1-1 Coppa Italia semi-final draw with Juventus, but wasn’t convinced by the decisive penalty.
Ante Rebic saw his opener cancelled out by a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty in the final minute, while Theo Hernandez was sent off.
The second leg will be in Turin on March 4, without suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Samu Castillejo and Theo Hernandez.
“I told my lads to leave the pitch without regrets. I can say, they will have no regrets. I am very proud of their performance, so are the Milan fans,” the coach told Rai Sport.
“We wanted to get the victory, we were in a strong position to do so, but this is just the first leg and we’ll try to do even better in the second.”
There is a great deal of debate over the penalty, as Davide Calabria had his back to Ronaldo when the volley struck his arm.
“I got angry first and foremost because there was a foul on Ibrahimovic earlier in the move. Plus I remember the referees showed footage of that Cagliari-Brescia penalty at the start of the season and said it was an error to award it because the player couldn’t see the ball.
“I therefore don’t see what’s so different with this situation, as Calabria couldn’t see it. Alberto Cerri, in that situation, jumped and could not just cut his arms off, you have to use your arms when jumping. He didn’t have time to get his arms back into position.
“I just wish we could get a clear idea of what is and isn’t a penalty. You could argue it was a shot on target, but then I’m not so sure Ronaldo’s effort was going on target.”
Pioli was asked point-blank if he felt as a coach penalised by the refereeing this evening.
“I feel proud of my team, less so of other things.”
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Football Italia staff