Friday January 22 2021
Gasp: 'Milan proved they are a team'

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said Milan ‘have shown they are a team’ when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was absent. ‘He’s unique’.

La Dea missed the opportunity to climb into the top three with a 1-1 draw against Udinese on Wednesday, but Gasperini’s men are still unbeaten in 12 games across all competitions.

Ibrahimovic returned to the starting line-up against Cagliari and scored a brace to help Milan pick up another three points at the Sardegna Arena.

The Orobici coach praised the veteran in his pre-match interview but underlined that Milan proved to be a unit when the 39-year-old was missing.

“He has his characteristics, he’s unique and extraordinary,” Gasperini said at a press conference.

“Milan have shown they are a team, they have upset the opinions of many pundits.

“Milan were able to make up for the lack of Ibra, that’s a great merit. Individuals in football are important, but the team are more important.”

Gasperini knows the public expect a great match when the two clash at San Siro, but he conceded it’s sometimes difficult to live up to the hype.

“In these types of games, you expect quality of play, but sometimes it’s not like that,” he said. “It’s a special moment, we hope it will be a game that satisfies everyone.

“It’s not easy to be at your best. The conditions are there for both."