Inter striker Romelu Lukaku spent his day off wondering why AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic wanted to provoke him during last night’s Coppa Italia quarter-final, according to an Italian journalist today.
As recalled by Sky Sport Italia reporter Matteo Barzaghi, the former Manchester United teammates squared up to one another following an exchange of choice words towards the end of the first half at San Siro.
Ibrahimovic appeared to headbutt Lukaku while also making an unwelcome reference to the Belgian’s mother, but the Swede will not face retrospective punishment as referee Paolo Valeri saw the incident and booked both players.
“Lukaku spent today relaxing at home because Antonio Conte gave his players the day off,” Barzaghi remarked this afternoon.
“Lukaku is satisfied with Inter’s win but there is also a sense of bitterness because he wonders why Ibrahimovic wanted to provoke him in that way.
“He realises that he reacted strongly and the scenes were not good to see on either side.
“For those who know Romelu, even off the pitch, he looked like someone who lost his mind in the derby at that moment.
“He returned to scoring goals with a penalty, carrying Inter on his shoulders and this response on the pitch is what the player must take away from the derby.”
Inter secured a 2-1 win over their city rivals courtesy of a stoppage-time free-kick from Christian Eriksen and will face either Juventus or SPAL in a two-legged semi-final next month.
This season Lukaku, who is contracted to the Nerazzurri until 2024, has made 25 appearances across all competitions, in which he has scored 18 goals and provided three assists for his teammates.