Pioli refuses to discuss ref, absolves Tatarusanu

Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v AS Roma - San Siro, Milan, Italy - October 26, 2020 AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli reacts REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli refused to comment on the referee and absolved debutant goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu from any blame after the Serie A leaders were held 3-3 at home by AS Roma on Monday.

Roma came from behind three times and each team scored from a controversial penalty as Milan dropped points for the first time this season.

"It was a great match between two teams who prefer to play on the attack. I am satisfied with the performance, this is not the time to look at the table," said Pioli.

"Obviously the players were not happy because when you go ahead three times, there is regret. The referee? I'm not talking about him."

Tatarusanu, signed from Olympique Lyonnais, was at fault for the first Roma goal and spilled the ball in the incident which led to their penalty.

"I've never seen a player who never makes mistakes, even at the highest level. Tatarusanu is a strong goalkeeper," he said.

The Romanian was given his debut at the last minute after Gianluigi Donnarumma tested positive for COVID-19.

"We are under very close control and follow the rules, but clearly we cannot be immune to the virus," said Pioli.

"The important thing is to keep playing to give some enjoyment to the fans at a complicated time."

His opposite number Paulo Fonseca also preferred not to discuss the referee. "I don't think I need to talk about it. We all have days when we make mistakes," said the Portuguese.

"What's great is that we scored three goals, and what's less great is that we conceded three. I think it was a very balanced match... the team reacted well. With courage and quality, they went on the attack."

(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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