AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli confirms referee apology after error rules out last-gasp winner

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli confirms the referee apologised after he blew his whistle for a free-kick moments before Junior Messias curled home… but insists ‘we have ourselves to blame’ after Spezia scored later in stoppage-time to seal shock win

  • Stefano Pioli confirms referee Marco Serra apology after controversial call 
  • Official blew whistle for a foul as Milan’s Junior Messias took a shot at goal
  • Red and Blacks denied last-minute winner and eventually concede in injury time 
  • Spezia went and scored an injury time winner shortly after Serra’s decision 

 AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has confirmed that Serie A referee Marco Serra apologised to his team, following a controversial decision late in the game.

The Rossoneri had been pushing for a winner throughout the second half, before Junior Messias thought that he’d finally secured the lead with only minutes left to play.

However, Serra had already blown the whistle before Messias’ shot was taken, and so the goal did not stand, with Milan being given a free kick instead.

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli confirmed that referee Marcos Serra apologised after decision

Speaking to DAZN after the game, Pioli said: ‘I tried to calm my players down, but I didn’t manage as Spezia’s goal proves.

‘We knew it was an injustice, we have ourselves to blame, but we share responsibility with the referee. I am sorry to say that. He even apologised, maybe that wasn’t even a fault. It’s a shame.

 ‘However, we should have scored more goals in the first half, it’s a bad night and we must react now.’

Pioli's side went on to lose the match 2-1 following an injury time winner for visitors Spezia

Pioli’s side went on to lose the match 2-1 following an injury time winner for visitors Spezia 

Theo Hernandez missed a penalty kick at the end of the first half, before Rafa Leao opened the scoring for the hosts in the second.

‘We could have won the game, somehow we lost and it’s heavy,’ the coach continued. 

‘We knew we had a good chance, Leao’s goal should have given us self confidence, we failed to seal a win that we strongly wanted, but the season is still long.’

This is not the first time this season that a referee has caused controversy by blowing the whistle early in a match. 

Back in October, Daniele Orsato called for a Roma penalty too early, denying a Tammy Abraham goal. Again, that goal did not stand, and the resulting penalty was saved. 

AC Milan's Junior Messias thought he'd scored a last minute winner before Serra ruled it out

AC Milan’s Junior Messias thought he’d scored a last minute winner before Serra ruled it out