Sunday December 22 2013
Allegri: 'Milan ran out of steam'

Massimiliano Allegri concedes Milan were “tired” and fell away after an hour in their 1-0 defeat to Inter.

The Rossoneri have earned just one point from their last five meetings with the Nerazzurri, not winning since April 2011.

“The team was a little tired at the end, but unfortunately I had few options,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Riccardo Saponara played well while his legs lasted and Milan played well, but then we paid the price for one incident and I didn’t have time to put Philippe Mexes on and cover their wings.

“I think it was a strong performance for an hour, then we should’ve defended better and Rodrigo Palacio scored a great goal.

“The Derby is separate from the rest of the season. What disappoints me is that we concede many more fouls and get many more cards than our opponents. Something has to be wrong, because we get so many bookings.

“I’m angry at what I saw here tonight. In the first six months Milan have rarely been able to count on the same XI players, as we had numerous injuries and are the only Italian team left in the Champions League.

“It’s a shame to lose the Derby, but we have many more games to make up for it.”

Milan truly fell away in the final 15 minutes and were under constant pressure from that point on, but Allegri explained his substitutions.

“Mexes was going to come on, but then Inter went on the counter and scored. Saponara was losing steam and I preferred to put on Alessandro Matri to reinforce the attack.

“We had Urby Emanuelson, who replaced the injured Kevin Constant and couldn’t move his arm, while Saponara hadn’t played in a long time. My only option was to introduce Mexes, but Daniele Bonera wasn’t feeling great either, so I hesitated.

“Kaka had a good game and so did the overall team for an hour. We should’ve defended better on the goal, but we got tired and stretched out. What we should’ve done was take our chances in the first half.”

Mario Balotelli wasted some good chances, but Allegri defended the striker’s attitude.

“Mario did well and is relaxed at the moment, he stays quiet even when he gets kicked repeatedly, so in that sense Milan have done a good job with Balotelli.”

The Rossoneri are only five points clear of the relegation zone and one point above Atalanta.

“Once we are all fit, plus the arrival of Adil Rami and Keisuke Honda, we can finally give other players a bit of a rest. We’ve got a lot of people out of action and have been playing twice a week all season.”

Allegri was asked how he can continue to stay focused when the newspapers insist Clarence Seedorf already has a deal to take over next season.

“I work calmly, have important objectives to target and it’s true we are behind in Serie A, but I trust in 2014 it will be different. We’re in the Champions League and Coppa Italia.”