Milan secured a 1-0 victory against Napoli on Wednesday, but Spalletti’s team was in control for most of the match until Frank Anguissa was sent off, which stopped their momentum
Luciano Spalletti expressed disappointment over the dismissal of Frank Anguissa, which he considered as “unfair”, and added that this has worsened Napoli’s injury crisis in their Champions League quarter-final loss against Milan on Wednesday.
Anguissa received two yellow cards within four minutes during the second half, leaving Napoli with ten players. Ismael Bennacer scored the only goal of the match in the 40th minute to give Milan the win.
Spalletti had already been facing injury woes with Victor Osimhen and his replacement Giovanni Simeone sidelined, and Frank Anguissa’s suspension further exacerbated the situation by adding another name to the list of absent Napoli players.
Napoli boss expressed his dissatisfaction with the refereeing decisions made by Istvan Kovacs but reassured that Napoli have capable replacements despite the growing list of absentees, ahead of the second leg in Naples next week.
Spalletti critical of referee’s choices
“I have nothing to say, commenting after the matches is wasted time, there’s no turning back,” Spalletti told Sky Sport.
“At this point, every absence is a blow for us, but we have someone who replace him. It’s been like this for the whole season, otherwise we wouldn’t have the results we have managed.
“We trust the group, but it’s a pity we won’t have Anguissa because I think it’s unfair… It was planned to replace him. I was looking at who to bring on in the three substitutions, I was missing the third.
“The regret is that he played two more minutes while I decided. I’ll think about what I did, the referee won’t comment, [UEFA Referees’ Committee chairman Roberto] Rosetti will do it.
“From what I’ve seen, Anguissa gets a lot of ball… Let’s look at the yellow card for [Piotr] Zielinski and the one not given to [Rade] Krunic.”
Milan have managed to defeat Napoli twice in the span of 10 days, first with a 4-0 win in the Serie A, and then with a victory in their European match against Spalletti’s team.
Pioli’s squad has become the only team to defeat Napoli multiple times this season, as two of Napoli’s five losses have come at the hands of Milan.
Napoli boss praises his team’s attitude
Additionally, Milan scored six goals against Napoli, which is twice as many as any other team. Despite this, Spalletti was content with his team’s performance and praised Milan’s goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who made five saves.
He added: “We had a great attitude, I congratulate the team on how they tried to play the game, even outnumbered. And congratulations to Maignan.”
Milan have won seven out of nine two-legged ties in the Champions League knockout stages after winning the first match and have lost only one of their ten all-Italian match-ups in Europe. Despite this, Napoli captain Di Lorenzo is still confident for the second leg at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Tuesday.
The Italy international told Amazon Prime Video: “We are a quality squad, to go through you have to win at home, we hope there will be a good atmosphere, as always this year.”