AC Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso conceded Roma deserved more than a draw against his side, but praised his players’ improved second-half performance.
Gattuso’s men remained one point above Roma in fourth place after a 1-1 Serie A draw at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
Gianluigi Donnarumma produced an inspired display, particularly in the first half, to ensure Milan left the Italian capital without defeat.
Nicolo Zaniolo equalised for Roma just 22 seconds into the second half in response to Krzysztof Piatek, who made it three goals in two starts for his new club with the first-half opener.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) February 3, 2019
Gattuso acknowledged Roma had been the better team on balance, though he was glad that Milan improved on a first-half display where they were dominated despite going into the break in front.
“Roma deserved more from the first half, but I think we emerged in the second half and did well,” Gattuso said to Sky Italia.
“Perhaps on points, Roma might have deserved more, but they are a great side with immense talent and I knew it would be difficult.
“Roma have quality and physicality, so we suffered a little, but I remain happy with the performance. As I said, I admit Roma probably deserved a little more, but I really liked the second-half performance. We played well.
“Our first half was very bad, while in the second we wasted many promising opportunities by making the wrong choices or passes. The spaces were there and we didn’t find them.”
Pareggio Roma! Nicolò Zaniolo risponde a Piatek!
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA) February 3, 2019
The pressure remains on Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco after the hosts failed to get the morale-boosting win they needed after Wednesday’s 7-1 Coppa Italia humiliation at the hands of Fiorentina.
“It’s a pity we need to get a slap in the face before finding our way,” he said after watching his side control the game following Piatek’s 26th-minute strike.
“We clearly would have deserved the victory with this performance and it was only a few days after Florence. This was a positive response to Florence, but even three crucial points would not have made amends for Wednesday.
“The lads showed character in the circumstances and I hope it is yet another starting point to reach the next level.”
The Curva Sud section of Roma’s support staged a walkout at half-time to protest against recent poor performances.
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