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AC Milan defend Bakayoko and Kessi

MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 13: (L-R) Samuel Castillejo, Franck Kessie, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Krzysztof Piatek of AC Milan celebrate a victory at the end of the Serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 13, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
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Both players were celebrating the 1-0 Rossoneri win over Lazio with the jersey of defender Francesco Acerbi.

After AC Milan defeated Lazio 1-0 in today’s Italian Lega Serie A fixture, a controversial topic arose.

During the week, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Franck Kessie had been exchanging messages on social media with Lazio’s defender Francesco Acerbi.

And after Acerbi exchanged jerseys with Bakayoko today, the midfielder and his teammate were celebrating with the shirt almost like it was a trophy, something which angered Acerbi and he exposed them on social media.

The Rossoneri have written a statement to defend its footballers.

“AC Milan wish to reconstruct the events after the Milan v Lazio game and make some clarifications. The Rossoneri players went under the Curva Sud at San Siro to salute the fans. It is a custom for them to do this,” they wrote according to Football Italia.

“Last night, Tiemoue Bakayoko reached his teammates under the stands holding Francesco Acerbi’s jersey, having just then completed a sporting exchange of jerseys, and held it up for a few seconds [along with Franck Kessie] to the crowd.”

“The sole intention was to celebrate an important victory with no intention to mock, nor be aggressive or unsporting. It was an innocent, naive response to a friendly exchange of tweets with Acerbi in the days leading up to the game,” they said.

“The proof is in the dynamics of what happened, the facial expressions of the players, the total absence of jeers or other negative elements.”

The statement read: “In realizing this innocent gesture had upset Francesco Acerbi personally [a colleague who all the Milan players respect], both Tiemour and Franck publicly apologized to him.

“It was also interpreted as an innocent gesture by Lazio director of sport Igli Tare, who at the end of the match declared it was “banter as part of a fiery game, one we shouldn’t give too much importance to.”