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‘Ibra was angry because we were losing’ Pioli explains Zlatan outburst

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan
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The AC Milan manager explained Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s angry reaction to being substituted in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Napoli.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was clearly annoyed by Stefano Pioli’s decision to substitute him for Rafael Leao in the second half of Milan’s match at Napoli.

The Swede’s substitution came just moments after Dries Mertens scored to hand Napoli a 2-1 lead. But Franck Kessie’s late penalty salvaged a point for Milan, maintaining their six-match unbeaten run in the process.

“Ibra was angry because we were losing,” Pioli explained to Sky Sport Italia.

“We had just conceded a goal, and he always expects the best from himself and others.”

Part of Ibrahimovic’s frustrations likely came from his own inability to influence the game. He only had a single shot and lost possession six times in his 61 minutes on Sunday.

At the end of the day, though, Milan’s strong run of results continue and a top-six finish remains a possibility, with Napoli just two points above in sixth-place.

Pioli added: “It was tough, really tough, as after Lazio and Juventus, we’ve had a really difficult run of games against the best teams in the league, but we showed that we were up to the task.

“When you get results and put in strong performances against this kind of opponent, it really boosts your confidence.

“We scored a great goal to take the lead, we fought back to equalise and a point is a good result.”

If Milan aren’t careful though, they could end up losing Ibrahimovic altogether this summer.

‘Ibra plays to win or stays home!’ – Zlatan hints at Milan exit