Talk about a busy evening. Zlatan Ibrahimovic-generated plenty of headlines on Tuesday in the Milan derby — and then some. From scoring to getting into a spat with a former teammate and then being sent off, the Swedish superstar did it all in AC Milan’s dramatic Coppa Italia defeat to cross-city rivals Inter Milan.
Ibrahimović’s first-half strike put the Italian league leaders in front, further continuing his excellent form against Inter, his eighth goal in seven appearances against the Nerazzurri, who the Swede played for between 2006 and 2009.
However, Ibrahimovic 39-year-old’s turbulent evening was only just beginning.
As the two sides were heading off the field for the halftime break and with tensions rising, Ibrahimović and his former Manchester United teammate Lukaku came head-to-head as tempers flared. They were seen on TV cameras — and heard, due to an empty San Siro — exchanging insults in English as Lukaku had to be restrained by his teammates as the Belgian international tried to confront the Swede for a second time. Both players, who were teammates in 2017 in Manchester, were booked for their involvement in the spat, something which came back to haunt Ibrahimović.
Ibrahimović (right) argues with Lukaku (left) during the Coppa Italia match. Inter manager Antonio Conte said after the match that these combustible moments are typical of heated derbies.”Derbies are like this, it was a heartfelt match,” Conte told Rai Sport.”I haven’t spoken with Romelu yet, but I was a player so I know that during a match things can get heated. Situations can flare up but it’s only right that things then settle.”I liked seeing Romelu so focused, he is growing in terms of his character. He plays an important role for us and if sometimes he gets angry, then we can only gain from it.”Thirteen minutes after the half-time break, Ibrahimović was shown his second yellow card — and a ticket to an early shower — for a foul on former Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov.