Ibrahimovic gave his aspect the lead within the Coppa Italia quarterfinal, drilling in off the publish, earlier than tempers grew to become frayed within the San Siro.
Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku, who performed collectively at Manchester United, locked heads and exchanged phrases on the finish of the primary half, earlier than the pair needed to be restrained because the gamers left the pitch for the interval.
The referee cautioned each earlier than giving Ibrahimovic one other yellow card and a crimson within the second half for a foul on Aleksandar Kolarov — the primary time the Swede has been despatched off in Europe since being dismissed whereas enjoying for Paris Saint-Germain at Chelsea in March 2015.
“He [Ibrahimovic] apologised like the good champion he’s,” Pioli mentioned. “He acquired a bit caught up within the want to assist the crew.
“It wasn’t straightforward to remain within the recreation a person down. The strain from Inter was robust.”
Inter got here from behind to win the match, with a penalty from Lukaku and a 97th-minute winner from Christian Eriksen sending Antonio Conte’s aspect to the semifinals.
“We paid for the trouble within the final half hour and we could not convey dwelling a constructive consequence,” Pioli added. “It should not have occurred, however that is the way it went.
“We’re very sorry as a result of we had ready for the sport nicely.”
Inter will play the winner of Juventus and SPAL’s quarterfinal conflict on Wednesday due to Eriksen’s late intervention off the bench, though Lukaku will miss the primary leg of the semifinal resulting from yellow card accumulation.
It was the Dane’s first purpose of a irritating season. Eriksen has began simply 4 league video games this marketing campaign and has been linked with a transfer again to England because of his struggles in Italy since becoming a member of Inter final January.
Nonetheless, Conte mentioned Eriksen goes nowhere throughout this winter switch window.
“I’ve been repeating for a month that nobody will arrive and nobody will depart,” Conte advised reporters.
“With Christian we’re working tactically to search out an alternative choice to Marcelo Brozovic, as a result of we do not have one other playmaker within the squad.
“He [Eriksen] is a really clever participant, he has high quality and he’s a part of the challenge. I am completely happy that he scored that purpose at present.”