Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Tiemoue Bakayoko insists he did not disobey AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso

Tiemoue Bakayoko has insisted he was only repeating the words of Gennaro Gattuso when he was caught telling the AC Milan manager to 'f*** off' during his side's 2-1 win over Bologna.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who now looks likely to return to Chelsea at the end of his loan, started Monday's game among the Milan substitutes but was asked to warm-up by Gattuso after Lucas Biglia suffered a first-half injury.

When he returned to the bench, a conversation took place between manager and player, before Bakayoko appeared to tell Gattuso to 'f*** off'.

Gattuso decided to bring on Jose Mauri instead as a result and Bakayoko remained on the bench for the remainder of the game.

'I told Bakayoko to warm up, he took his time and I chose Mauri,' Gattuso said after the match.

'I have 27 players, we wear a glorious shirt and I must be objective and honest in everything I do. I waited seven or eight minutes, he still had not put on his shin pads so I made that choice.'

But Bakayoko, who joined Milan last summer on a season-long loan having only moved to Stamford Bridge in a £40million transfer from Monaco 12 months earlier, hit back in an Instagram post.

'For a few weeks people have been talking about me in the press but I decided to say nothing and continue working,' he wrote.

'But what happened tonight and the interpretation that was given that required me to react immediately because I do not accept that I am a player who refuses to take to the field when his coach asks him to and who does not respect his club and his team-mates.

'Despite starting on the bench I was ready to give 200 per cent even if I only played 5 minutes tonight.

'When Lucas [Biglia] began to suffer on the ground, I was asked to prepare for the change. So I prepared myself immediately and went to warm up for a maximum of 2/3 minutes.'

He continued: 'Then I was asked to return to the bench. everything passes I think between 23 and 26 minutes

'It was when I sat on the bench that the coach spoke to me in unexpected terms and I only repeated his words. Nothing more.

'Let me be clear: I have never refused to come into play and I do not have to drag myself to warm up. It seems to me that the images speak for themselves.

'I had only one desire which was to enter the field and help my team-mates as I have always done and as I will do until the end of the season. Forza Milan.'

Milan have an option to sign Bakayoko on a permanent basis but it remains to be seen whether they will opt to keep him.

Monday's 2-1 win over Bologna kept Milan in the hunt for a top-four finish. Former Liverpool duo Suso and Fabio Borini struck to lift Milan to fifth in Serie A, three points adrift of the top four with three games left.

Lucas Paqueta was sent off for the hosts, while Bologna ended the match with nine men after Mitchell Dijks and Nicola Sansone were both dismissed in second-half injury time. Mattia Destro had pulled a goal back for Bologna, who remain 15th.

Milan opened the scoring after 37 minutes when Suso grabbed his first goal since January by collecting the ball on the edge of the area, holding off three challenges and finding the bottom corner.

Borini made it 2-0 after 67 minutes when he pounced from close range after Lukasz Skorupski had saved Paqueta's deflected half-volley. Destro made it 2-1 when he collected Sansone's cute pass and fired in from six yards.

Paqueta collected his second yellow card three minutes later before Dijks and Sansone walked in stoppage time.


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