Saturday January 23 2021
Ibrahimovic felt 'isolated' against Atalanta

Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits he felt ‘isolated’ upfront in Milan’s defeat to Atalanta. ‘We are Winter Champions, but it means nothing to me.’

The Rossoneri lost 3-0 at San Siro, yet still finish the first half of the season as leaders, because Inter drew 0-0 away to Udinese.

“A lot went wrong today. I don’t want to look to excuses, as in every game you must go out there looking to get the result. We didn’t manage that today,” Ibrahimovic told Sky Sport Italia.

“The important thing now is to recover our energies and focus on the next game. Fortunately, that is only a couple of days away, so have the chance to make up for it.

“After 38 rounds in which we’ve lost only two games in Serie A, I think that’s not too bad. Unfortunately, when you are missing so many players and have some inexperienced ones to come on in their place, you can tell.

“That is not an excuse. We are working hard and making sacrifices. We are the Winter Champions, but that means nothing to me, other than I guess we’ve done well so far. The difficult part begins now.”

Stefano Pioli surprised by picking Soualiho Meite in the trequartista role behind the striker rather than Brahim Diaz and the experiment failed.

“I did feel isolated in the first half. When the ball reaches me, I need someone to play off. Instead I felt very alone, but maybe that was also due to Atalanta’s pressing game,” said Ibrahimovic.

“That was also the case with Josip Ilicic today. If you press him, it becomes difficult for him, but he had a lot of space today and could’ve scored more goals. It’s the same for me, if you don’t press me, of course it’s easier.”

Ibra does have a new Milan teammate, as Mario Mandzukic came on and almost scored.

“Mandzukic doesn’t say much. I tried to say hello to him in Slav, in Italian… The coach asked him if he wanted to say a few words and he said no. He’s not a talker, but that’s fine, he is very concentrated.”