Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted his ‘voodoo’ remark aimed at Romelu Lukaku wasn’t racist. But he’s aimed new shots at his former Manchester United team-mate in the aftermath of Tuesday’s Milan derby. Inter Milan fell behind after the Sweden international stuck but bounced back to put AC Milan to the sword.
Ibrahimovic put Milan ahead against Inter, who he spent three years with between 2006 and 2009 earlier in his career.
The club’s fierce rivals then responded through Lukaku, who converted a penalty after Nicolo Barella had been fouled in the box.
And Inter ended up emerging victorious through a late goal from Christian Eriksen, with the Denmark international netting a terrific free kick.
Ibrahimovic received his marching orders during the contest, picking up two yellow cards.
And he was lucky not to be sent off soon after clashing with Lukaku on the pitch.
The Swede was overheard making a ‘voodoo’ remark towards the Belgian, referring to previous comments made by Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
“He got a bit caught up in wanting to help the team. It was not easy to stay in the game with one less man.
“The pressure from Inter was strong.”
Pioli refused to blame Ibrahimovic for the defeat, however, insisting Milan cost themselves the game due to their poor first half showing.
“We paid for the effort in the last half hour and we couldn’t bring home a positive result,” said the Italian, whose side currently sit top of the Serie A table.
“It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. We are very sorry because we had prepared well for the game.”
Next up for Inter is a mouthwatering semi-final with Juventus, which is set to take place over two legs.
And Antonio Conte is looking forward to the matches, saying after the win against Milan: “They will certainly be two difficult games, the lads must all be ready to play the way they did this evening.
“It’s inevitable there is a lot of expectation around me and my work, but you need to go through the journey and be given time to do the work.
“I think, unlike some other clubs, at Inter people always see the glass half-empty rather than half-full.
“I think these lads are improving, we need a bit more time, it’s a strange time for everyone off the field more than on it and I am proud to be the ‘chief’ of these lads who give their all for Inter.”