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Dec 5, 2012

Allegri: Our defence must improve

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has urged his side to improve their defensive record after suffering a 1-0 loss to Zenit St Petersburg in the final group game of the Champions League on Tuesday.

• Blog: Spalletti silences San Siro

Milan have kept just one clean sheet in their last nine matches across all competitions and the home defeat to Zenit forced the Rossoneri to settle for second place in Group C.

Allegri believes his side should have taken three points from the match, but admitted defensive frailties are proving costly this season.

"We created a lot of chances and played with a good pace but unfortunately we conceded in what was their only chance of the game," he said. "At the moment, the objective is Torino [in Serie A on Sunday], third place is still far away. We'll be thinking of each game as it comes, in the Italian cup as well.

"Acerbi and Zapata played well and conceded very little to Zenit. We weren't lacking in commitment, the team played well from a technical point of view even though the motivation can't have been at its highest.

"We didn't deserve to lose though, I'm disappointed for the players but we have to start not conceding goals. 20 goals in 21 games is too much, we have to do better in certain situations.

"I'm happy with all the individual performances including Mesbah and Ambrosini, who both came back from injuries."

Massimo Ambrosini apologised to the home fans following the match, although the midfielder is confident Milan are playing positive football.

"We talked about what we should have done on the pitch before the game, we tried to play the best we can as usual," he said. "We're through, anyway, but I think that the round of 16 will be really tough. We are improving match by match, and we can do even better than what we have accomplished lately.

"We lost tonight, but I think that we played better than them. We played a good first half, maybe we didn't create many chances but we were in control of the ball and of the game. We're sorry that we lost, we wanted to keep our momentum going, but that's football."

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