Antonio Conte professed to be happy at the sight of Romelu Lukaku getting angry with Zlatan Ibrahimovic during Inter’s Coppa Italia win over Milan.
Inter ultimately triumphed 2-1 thanks to a late Christian Eriksen free-kick, but that does not tell the full story of the match, which Milan initially led thanks to Ibrahimovic.
The Swede was involved in an altercation with Lukaku just before half-time as the former Manchester United colleagues squared up to each other and went head-to-head – it then continued after the referee ended the first half, with Inter players forced to hold their team-mate back.
Television footage and audio appeared to show Ibrahimovic yelling at Lukaku: “Go do your voodoo s***.”
That may have been a reference by Ibrahimovic to claims made by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri in January 2018 that Lukaku, who left the Merseyside club six months earlier, strenuously denied.
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 26, 2021
After Tuesday’s game, Lukaku did not immediately publicly address Ibrahimovic’s on-pitch behaviour.
Inter and Lukaku ultimately had the last laugh, as Ibrahimovic was sent off in the second half and the Belgian equalised from the spot before Eriksen sealed their spot in the semi-finals with a lovely free-kick.
“If he gets angry every now and then, it just makes me happy,” Conte told RAI Sport after the game.
“I’ve been a player. It is a derby, not a walk for your health. During the game, tempers are high and in some situations you get angry. The important thing is that everything remains in the right dimension.
“I was pleased to see Romelu so focused. He had a disagreement with someone [Ibrahimovic] who has the wickedness of a winner and a warrior, he does not want to lose. Romelu is growing from this point of view. For us it is important.”
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