AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso defended Gonzalo Higuain after he failed to find the net again in a 1-0 home loss to Fiorentina.
Fiorentina rarely threatened at San Siro, but Federico Chiesa’s 73rd-minute strike delivered their first away win of the campaign against a Milan side who have now won just one of their previous six in Serie A.
Gattuso’s men have gone almost 300 minutes without scoring, while Higuain has not added to his tally in his previous eight appearances.
The struggling Argentinian was this week linked with a January switch to Chelsea, yet Gattuso insisted Milan’s team are not putting him in positions to succeed.
“He is going through a difficult moment and as long as he is here he has to be helped,” Gattuso told Sky.
“It is clear that when a striker does not score, he is not happy.
3 – AC Milan haven’t found the net in three consecutive Serie A games for the first time since November 2001. Lack. #MilanFiorentina
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 22, 2018
“But it is the whole team who is struggling and not expressing themselves to the maximum, and within this context there is also Higuain.”
Milan dropped out of the top four having failed to respond to Lazio’s win earlier in the day and they face two crucial fixtures before the winter break.
The pressure is building on Gattuso due to the poor run, though he was not interested in identifying scapegoats for a team missing midfielders Franck Kessie, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura through suspension or injury.
“We were in an emergency and cannot blame the team for anything,” Gattuso added.
“It’s a burning victory – we lost brilliance, but there was also bad luck because we suffered a goal on the only shot on goal [from Fiorentina].
“We just have to keep working. I do not talk about the market, I can only explain why the team did not work.
“I do not want to see people who apologise because we take responsibility for ourselves.”
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