Saturday March 9 2013
Allegri: 'If Napoli slip up...'

After victory in Genoa, Max Allegri admitted Milan are targeting second place, told off Kevin Constant for his dismissal and began the build-up to Barcelona.

Giampaolo Pazzini and Mario Balotelli got the goals in last night’s 2-0 victory at Marassi, though Constant was sent off and needed several teammates to push him off the field after an enraged response to Cesare Bovo’s foul.

“It was important and difficult to win, so I think the team got a great result,” said the Coach.

“I had thought the game was on the right track when going 2-0 up, because we weren’t suffering much, but instead the red card complicated matters and made us use up a lot of energy towards the end.

“At this stage of the season we cannot afford certain behaviour, seeing as we are challenging for second place in Serie A and the Champions League quarter-finals. It doesn’t matter what happened, Constant’s reaction was wrong.”

Constant later tweeted an apology to the fans and his teammates for his furious outburst.

“Our aim is to defend third place and maybe aim a little higher if Napoli will allow us to, even though it won’t be easy.”

Balotelli was booked within a minute of coming on for the injured Pazzini, but then scored the second goal.

“Mario did not have 80 minutes in his legs, but he fought hard and helped us out. His fitness levels need to improve, but he scored an important goal in a difficult moment and earned lots of free kicks. He was only meant to play for the second half today. Mario just needs to focus on enjoying his football.

“Pazzini and Mexes went off as a precautionary measure, as Giampaolo picked up a knock and Philippe had a muscular problem. We’ll evaluate their condition over the next few days.”

Time is short, as Milan travel to Barcelona for the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday night, boosted by a 2-0 advantage.

“Now we have four days to think about and prepare for the game with Barcelona. They will attempt a ‘remuntada’ and we know it’ll be tough. At the moment they are the strongest team in the world and it’ll take another great performance to qualify.”