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Rossoneri Round-up for 14 December: Milan’s Gattuso: ‘we barely tested our opponents’

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AC Milan v F91 Dudelange - UEFA Europa League - Group F Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

After Milan crashed out the Europa League with an unthinkable 3-1 loss to Olympiacos, Gennaro Gattuso stood tall and faced the press after the match.

He said:

The great atmosphere in Greece is nothing new, the fans are the twelfth man on the pitch, but they do not play. I was well aware that Olympiacos would be a tough opponent for us, just like Real Betis. We had the misfortune to have to decide our fate on the last matchday here and we were too naive. Technically, the team got the finishing phase wrong. We have to improve on concentration and covering the pitch better.

On our part, we had some unjust decisions against us but I do not believe in any sort of conspiracy. We were unlucky because the penalty was non-existent. It is fair that we have been knocked out though, I am not looking for excuses: they were better than us because they were energetic and determined, I apologize to all the Rossoneri fans around the world for not having achieved our objective.

Higuain could have been better with his finishing and in the ballistics. Cutrone? I messed up the sub and I take full responsibility for it. The team was present, they fought hard and we got our finishing wrong: this was our main problem. We had to be more decisive when we were in open field. Instead, we barely tested our opponents. We did not make much progress as per wisdom and experience, we are very displeased because we always make the same mistakes over and over again.

Gattuso said all the right things again, but this was a very bad loss to a team that Milan should have had no trouble getting past. Even with all of the injuries and a lack of rest, Milan should have been good enough to get past a team that is currently third in the Greek league.

Perhaps this will be a point in the season that we all look back on and see as a turning point for the club. Either the club will respond to the defeat by concentrating on Serie A, and without the distraction of the Europa League will easily make the Champions League, or the team will start to fall apart and we’ll look back on this as the point where things all went wrong. It can only really go one of these two ways.

On to the links.

AC Milan and Italian Football Links

Milan bombed out the Europa League thanks to a 3-1 defeat at Olympiacos. [AC Milan Offside]

The Lazio-Eintracht Frankfurt Europa League match was marred with fan violence, and no, it wasn’t from the Lazio fans how dare you. []

Fiorentina may send their loanees home early. [Viola Nation]

World Football Links

Club América and Cruz Azul played to a scoreless draw in the first leg of Mexico’s Liga MX final. [FMF State of Mind]

Leeds United’s Samu Saiz is rumored to be unhappy in England, and may return to Spain. [Through It All Together]

Would a departure for Samu Saiz clear the way for Deportivo Alavés winger Ibai Gomez to join Leeds? He played under Marcelo Bielsa at Athletic Bilbao. [Through It All Together]

Arsenal are on to the knockout rounds of the Europa League. [The Short Fuse]

Chelsea called out their “fans” who chanted anti-Semitic things in the club’s Europa League tie. [We Ain’t Got No History]