AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is refusing to panic despite seeing his side held to a 1-1 draw by bottom-placed Bari on Sunday.
A win at the San Siro would have seen Milan stretch their lead atop the Serie A table to seven points after Inter Milan drew at Brescia on Friday, but the weary side were lucky to even escape with a point.
Gergely Rudolf put Bari ahead in the 39th minute, and it looked all over for Milan when star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off with a straight red in the 73rd minute.
But Antonio Cassano ensured Milan would at least not lose any ground to Inter with an equaliser eight minutes from injury time.
Allegri admitted his side were tired from their Champions League loss to Tottenham on Wednesday, but preferred to focus on the positives after the match.
“I think that in these moments we should be calm, since we’re leading the championship and therefore we shouldn’t be nervous at all,” Allegri said.
“We should only focus on playing football. We have played well in the second half of the match and a bit less in the first half.”
“I’m sorry because the team put in a good performance in the second half of the match and we created many good chances. We weren’t concentrating when Bari scored their goal.”
“But in the end we’re still five points ahead. Of course if we had won, we would have seven points ahead, but this is the championship and I think that being five points ahead when there are nine matches to play is a good advantage.”
“The team is tired. They have played an intense match today, especially in the second half where we had to play with 10 men.”
“They played in London on Wednesday and used up many of their physical and mental energies. We have made mistakes in the first half of today’s match, but we knew that we could face some difficulties even if Bari are bottom of the league.”