The battle was not about who would score more goals during the Coppa Italia quarter-final match, it was about who was a more furious player in terms of verbal and physical confrontation.
Romelu Lukaku who was Ibrahimovic’s teammate at Manchester United during the 2017-2018 season, was dragged into a physical and verbal confrontation against the striker he once said he has learned a lot from.
The battle started towards the end of the first half when an AC Milan defender, Alessio Romagnoli tackled Lukaku and the Belgium striker agitated against it. Ibrahimovic decided to weigh into the matter and the table turned against him and Lukaku.
It became so fierce that Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had to go head to head before players from both sides tried to keep them apart. And the center-referee, Paolo Valeri showed both players a yellow card to put things under control but that couldn’t change much as the fierce verbal exchange continued after the half-time whistle.
The Swedish football icon stood under the protection of his teammates as he continued to exchange insulting words with Lukaku. On the other hand, the Belgium international looked for a means to get closer to Ibrahimovic to pounce on him. But other players didn’t allow the situation to escalate to such an extent.
During the verbal exchange, Ibrahimovic allegedly called Lukaku a “little donkey”, and also reportedly referred to the mother of the Belgian footballer insultingly. In his reaction, the Belgian said: “Well let’s go inside you b*tch!”, an invitation to Ibrahimovic to go into the tunnel for a fight.
This fight between Zlatan and Lukaku went too far I think 💀 pic.twitter.com/Gjgbv1JEkf— RiZzy🔴 (@RiZzyUTD) January 26, 2021
A video that surfaced from the game saw Lukaku being controlled into the tunnel by some officials and players while he could be heard telling Ibrahimovic “f**k you and your wife”.
Don’t know what happpened but Lukaku is so pissed off he wants to fight ibra so bad😂 pic.twitter.com/7eAZZHYH1M— Madridstar Assassin Hazard (@madridstarkg) January 26, 2021
Before things got this ugly during the Coppa Italia quarter-final match, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had already put AC Milan ahead in the 31st minute. AC Milan maintained the lead in San Siro until in the 71st minute when Lukaku equalized from the spot-kick.
AC Milan took the lead in the additional 7 minutes when the club’s Christian Eriksen scored few minutes after coming on from the bench.
Before AC Milan equalized, Ibrahimovic had already been sent off in the 58th minute, thanks to his challenge on Inter defender Aleksandar Kolarov which earned him the second yellow card in the match, and then a red card.
As for Romelu Lukaku, the yellow card he received during the bitter exchange between him and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has ruled him out of the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final game which could be against Juventus or SPAL.