The “Anger Derby” match and a fraught atmosphere between two opponents on one card to cross into the Italian Cup semi-finals, this may justify the quarrel that brought together Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his opponent from Inter, Romelio Lukaku, on Tuesday, but the recent history reveals another justification.
Ibrahimovic had awarded the lead with a goal to Milan before tension dominated the atmosphere in the San Siro. The Swedish striker and Lukaku quarreled, and exchanged angry words at the end of the first half, before the players intervened to calm them down on their exit from the field.
The most famous referee was the yellow card for the players, before Ibrahimovic received another card due to a mistake against Alexander Kolarov and was sent off in the second half, which is the first time he has received a red card in Europe since his dismissal with Paris Saint-Germain against Chelsea in March 2015.
Zlatan and Lukaku are going at it 😳 pic.twitter.com/yMLFI72tiz
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 26, 2021
Milan coach Stefano Pioli said that Ibrahimovic “apologized like a great champion and was overly impressed by showing his desire to help the team.”
For his part, Inter coach Antonio Conte congratulated his Belgian player Lukaku for his flawlessness with Ibrahimovic, and said in comments after the match, “This is how the derbies are, it is not a picnic. I was a footballer and I know that during the match the atmosphere was charged, I was happy to see Lukaku like this on Pitch. “
The quarrel between the players was not a spur of the moment, but a continuation of accumulations between them that began years ago, when they played together for Manchester United during the 2017-2018 season.
Lukaku’s arrival at the English club coincided with Ibrahimovic’s return from a long injury, which prompted Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho at the time to rely on Lukaku as the first striker. Therefore, the presence of the players together on the stadium was limited to only 126 minutes during 7 matches, before the Swedish star left the league. American, as of January 2018.
Ibrahimovic apparently did not retain good memories of that period, and in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport in October 2019, he criticized the Belgian player’s lack of technical skill, and said with his usual arrogance: “Do not expect a style. Well from Lukaku, his best quality is his strength, if only he would have listened to me. “
He explained that he tried to help Lukaku improve in his own way, and said, “At United we made a bet. I told him I will give you 50 pounds ($ 68) for every good watch of the ball, and he replied: And if you do all that well, what do I win?” I answered: Nothing, I just make you a better player. He didn’t accept that, maybe he was afraid of losing. “
These statements may be a cause of anger for Lukaku and a spark of the altercation that erupted yesterday, despite the fact that the Belgian striker did not publicly show any criticism of Zlatan, and during his previous media meetings, he was keen to praise the Swedish star and confirm that he learned from him during their time with the Red Devils.