Massimiliano Allegri assures the Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Oguchi Onyewu brawl ended “in hugs and kisses,” but he must change Milan in Bari.
The headlines over the past 24 hours have been dominated by the training ground spat between the two players, which reportedly saw Onyewu grab Ibra by the throat and at least 10 teammates struggled to separate them.
“It all ended in hugs and kisses, we're happy,” smiled the Coach with a hint of irony. “The truth is the whole incident was rather blown up a bit.”
There are more pressing issues, such as the absence of Thiago Silva, Luca Antonini, Massimo Oddo, Daniele Bonera and the suspended Kevin Prince Boateng for the trip to Bari.
“There could also be a rest for Andrea Pirlo. I haven't yet decided the line-up, but to make you happy I'll confirm the back four: Ignazio Abate, Alessandro Nesta, Mario Yepes and Gianluca Zambrotta.
“We are coming off two important and draining games against Juventus and Real Madrid, but Bari also represent an important juncture. We have to get back into a winning stride against a team that plays well, despite their position in the table, and who are going to give it the performance of their lives.”
There are some recurring themes in the recent Rossoneri setbacks, but Pippo Inzaghi came to the rescue in the 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.
“We analysed some situations along with the team, as we had also conceded late and from corners at Napoli. We need to hold the ball better in the closing stages, even if we are tired.
“Pippo overturned the game single-handed on Wednesday, he fired up the enthusiasm of the crowd and his teammates, proving once again he is very useful. I'm sure he will continue to be a precious figure in future.”
However, Alexandre Pato is under scrutiny after a series of disappointing performances.
“I think Pato did better on Wednesday than he had against Juventus, he just needs to keep working, convince himself he has real quality and keep the mental strength up. At these levels you can never rest on your laurels.
“At this moment he's not fulfilling his potential, but it's just a period of form and he remains a great talent.”