Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Italy

Mario Balotelli © Action Images

Milan praise Balotelli resolve



AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri praised striker Mario Balotelli's resolve in the face of racist taunting during a tense Milan derby which finished 1-1 on Sunday.

Both clubs had fears that Balotelli's first derby since his playing days for Inter would lead to ugly taunting of the striker, who recently signed for the club from Manchester City.

And although the match was relatively incident-free, some fans in the "Curva Nord" end of the San Siro where Inter's hardcore fans traditionally sit were seen waving inflatable bananas during the game.

When Milan attacked the Curva end after halftime, monkey noises were also heard briefly before being immediately drowned out by a chorus of whistles – many of which came from Inter's fans.

It was not clear whether only Balotelli, or the club's other black players – Sulley Muntari, Kevin Prince Boateng and Cristian Zapata –were the targets.

Balotelli, who is Italian but of Ghanaian descent, has hit the headlines over the years for his off-field pranks and his run-ins with City manager Roberto Mancini are well documented.

Allegri did not speak openly about the incidents after the game except to say the striker – who missed several chances to seal victory for the Rossoneri – had done well not to react to the taunting.

"Mario had a lot of chances to score in the first half but let's put things into perspective," said Allegri.

"He's a 22-year-old playing against his old team in a very tense situation. He did well not to respond (to the provocations). I don't think we can criticise him."

Boateng, who helped set up Stephan El Shaarawy for a 21st minute lead, said: "It was a really special game for Balotelli as the whistles from the fans were loud but he's a real champions and he'll be back."

Milan dominated throughout however Ezequiel Schelotto came off the bench to level for Inter in the 71st minute.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...