AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli said referee Daniele Orsato provoked him into getting a yellow card during his side’s 2-0 win at Fiorentina on Wednesday.
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Milan claimed a much-needed victory thanks to goals either side of half-time from Philippe Mexes and Balotelli, but the Italy striker was not impressed with the official after collecting a 16th-minute caution.
“The person who was provoking me the most on the pitch, to be honest, was the referee,” Balotelli told reporters after the match. “I don’t understand why some referees in Italy just do not seek dialogue.
“Today’s referee would just not allow for dialogue -- I was booked because I told him that an opponent had touched the ball with his hand. He booked me saying I talk too much... I might talk too much, but it should be possible to have a dialogue -- I feel this situation is a little bit stupid.”
For Milan, this was the first win in a month. Clarence Seedorf had said prior to the match that he was aware of the speculation over his future, but Balotelli does not believe the victory was vital for the Dutchman.
He said: “We didn’t save the coach’s job with this win. A coach should not be questioned if one or two games are lost. We are not nervous and nobody fights in the dressing room -- this team is fantastic and has always been united.
“Of course we were sad to be out of the Champions League and it’s not nice not to compete in Europe next year, but all those rumours about fights are just that -- silly rumours.”