AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso was delighted with his team’s second-half showing in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Roma.
Goals from Patrick Cutrone and Davide Calabria at the Stadio Olimpico made it five wins in a row and 12 matches unbeaten for the Rossoneri.
‘I like this rapport with the lads,’ Gattuso told Mediaset Premium. ‘It was a hard-fought game, we suffered a lot in the first half and tried to play different football in the second half, seeking different passing lines.
‘I think Roma are a fine team and we had to fight really hard for this.
It’s true the team could’ve done a lot better this season, including early in my reign, because we dropped points against Benevento.
‘I don’t think quality is the difference, because the team has always had that, but it’s the determination and teamwork.
”We played too many balls down predictable lines in the first half and I didn’t like that. I prefer to go down the wings and bring the full-backs into it. Franck Kessie contributed to the goal for Calabria, as he went in there and helped create the space.
‘We like to bring men into the box with movements, both on and off the ball. I also want to stop for a moment and praise the defence, because we always move at the right moment and are united. I am very happy about that.
‘While Roma remain fifth in Serie A and six points ahead of Milan, the defeat follows their Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk and manager Eusebio Di Francesco said that ‘it’s an alarm bell’.
‘I thought we had a good first half and allowed Milan very little,’ Di Francesco told Mediaset Premium. ‘We weren’t determined enough in our finishing, that is true. ‘However, after the opening goal, we lost our way.
That is something that has to make us think and think hard. It was not a physical issue, we simply lost control of the game.
‘We cannot be happy with this result, nor our season overall. We expected a different performance in the second half. We lost our unity and I was surprised by that.
‘Milan did very little in the first half, whereas we created dangerous situations, but without the belief to finish them off. ‘On the goal, we were taken by surprise too easily and the offside trap failed.
We shouldn’t fall apart like that, we need the strength to stick together, stick to the plan and find our way back into the game. I get the feeling we lacked character in difficult situations.’