Sunday September 16 2018
Maran: 'Barella is ready'

Rolando Maran felt Milan “deserved their point” and reserved special praise for Cagliari midfielder Nicolò Barella.

The Sardinians had taken the lead after just four minutes with Joao Pedro, making his comeback from a doping ban, but Gonzalo Higuain pounced on a loose ball to secure a share of the spoils.

“We should be satisfied with the performance, as we held out well when Milan came back at us,” said the Coach on Sky Sport Italia.

“It was a strong start and we created numerous chances, keeping a very high tempo, but paid a little for that effort in the second half.

“Even if Milan deserved their point, we ran relatively few risks at the back this evening. In the second half, we moved to five at the back, as we were struggling to close down their wingers and I wanted more width.”

Midfielder Barella was named Man of the Match for his performance, just days after he was promoted from the Under-21 side to the senior Italy squad.

“He is extraordinary. I put him as a playmaker in front of the defence towards the end and he didn’t put a foot wrong. He just gets better and better. He is a player who is ready and can be a key figure in the Nazionale going forward.”