AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso reflects on 'burning defeat'


Gennaro Gattuso is a former Rangers, Milan and Italy midfielder

AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso says the club’s “shirt deserves respect” after a “burning defeat” by Rijeka.

Gattuso made changes, for only his second game in charge, with their Europa League last-32 slot already guaranteed – but he was not impressed.

“I was expecting more, this was a pretty poor show,” he said.

“We need to turn things around and a change in mentality. We need more intensity and desire and all these things weren’t there.”

Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella last week with the club seventh in Serie A despite spending £205m in the summer.

They dropped to eighth after drawing 2-2 with Benevento on Sunday, with goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli scoring an injury-time equaliser for a side who had lost their opening 14 games.

“We needed a win as a morale booster. Sunday’s match against Bologna is now even more important and we can’t make any mistakes,” said Gattuso.

Croatian side Rijeka, who were already out, won 2-0 thanks to goals from Jakov Puljic and Mario Gavranovic.

“I take full responsibility for the choices I made,” said Gattuso. “I would make them again as we have to play important games every three days. We tried to give some playing time to those who needed it.

“This is how things have been going lately, unfortunately, we concede at the first opportunity. The boys gave it all, trying to play differently, but it wasn’t enough.”

Gattuso,who has previously managed Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete, Pisa and Milan’s youth team, was especially unhappy with £33m summer signing Andre Silva, who has yet to score in Serie A.

“He struggled. He looked like a foreign object in the team,” said the manager. “When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan’s shirt you have to do more.”

Ivanovic stunner seals group for Zenit, Blackman nets for Maccabi

Branislav Ivanovic moved to Zenit in February from Chelsea

Red Star Belgrade joined Arsenal, who beat Bate Borisov 6-0, in the knockout stages by beating Cologne 1-0 to qualify from Group H.

In Group L, Zenit St Petersburg sealed top spot thanks to a 3-1 win at Real Sociedad, who finish second. Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic scored a bicycle kick for the Russians. Vardar and Rosenborg drew their dead rubber 1-1.

Ostersunds lost top place in Group J after drawing 1-1 with Hertha Berlin, but still finish second. Athletic Bilbao scored twice in the last 20 minutes to beat Zorya Luhansk 2-0 and overtake Graham Potter’s side.

Viktoria Plzen overtook Steaua to win Group G. Plzen won 2-0 at Hapoel Be’er Sheva, while the Romanian side, who had already qualified, lost 2-1 to Lugano.

Marseille qualified for the last 32 after drawing 0-0 with Red Bull Salzburg, who topped Group I. Konyaspor and Vitoria Guimaraes both needed to win to have any chance of going through – but they drew 1-1.

Zulte Waregem beat Lazio 3-2 and Vitesse won 1-0 against Nice – their first European victory since 2012. However both victors were already eliminated from Group K.

Nick Blackman is on a season-long loan at Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Astana’s 1-0 win over Slavia Prague means they qualify in second place in Group A behind Villarreal, who lost 1-0 to Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Nick Blackman, on loan from Derby, scored the goal for Maccabi.

In Group B, Junior Moraes scored a hat-trick as Dynamo Kiev sealed top spot in style, with a 4-1 win over Partizan Belgrade, who join them as runners-up despite the defeat.

Braga sealed top spot in Group C, despite a 2-1 defeat by Istanbul Basaksehir. Ludogorets‘ 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim means they go through in second.

AEK Athens join AC Milan in the next round after drawing 0-0 at Austria Vienna.

Sheriff Tiraspol started the day top of Group F but missed out on qualification after losing 2-0 at FC Copenhagen. The Danish side go through, along with group winners Lokomotiv Moscow, who beat Zlin 2-0.

Atalanta won Group E, courtesy of a 1-0 win over Lyon, who gave 45 minutes to forward Willem Geubbels. Everton, already out, beat Apollon Limassol 3-0.

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