Saturday March 30 2019
Leonardo: 'Clear Milan penalty'

Milan director Leonardo insists they deserved a last-gasp penalty against Sampdoria, but there is “no need to put anyone on trial.”

Gianluigi Donnarumma’s howler after 33 seconds gifted Gregoire Defrel the only goal of the game and referee Daniele Orsato viewed the stoppage-time incident on VAR, deciding Nicola Murru got his studs to the ball before Krzysztof Piatek.

“This was not our best performance, let’s put it that way,” the director told DAZN.

“We tried harder in the second half, put our hearts into it, but mistakes happen in football and there’s no need to put anyone on trial or create situations that do not exist.

“We’re still in fourth place, we have 51 points, with Roma and Lazio still behind us. So let’s stay calm and deal with these two consecutive defeats in a balanced manner.”

Milan had not lost two Serie A games in a row since December 2017 and this was particularly galling after the Derby della Madonnina loss to Inter.

During that match, Franck Kessie was held back by teammates from trying to attack Lucas Biglia, which resulted in a fine and the Ivorian being dropped to the bench.

“There are no leftover issues from the derby, everyone at the club understood the gesture and we were clear with immediate action. The decision to leave him on the bench today was a tactical one, as he only had one training session in his legs.”

Leonardo was particularly furious about the refereeing, as referee Orsato stood by his decision not to award a penalty at the 90th minute.

“I don’t want to look for alibis or create controversy, but Piatek is first pushed off balance and then brought down, without the defender touching the ball. I don’t think a penalty like that is even up for debate.

“VAR exists and the referee went to view it, but this error decides an entire match. The handball in the first half on Tiemoue Bakayoko’s chance was also very clear, it hit his arm and that’s a penalty. It’s there for all to see.”