Fragile Milan worries Gattuso after Europa League defeat

The pressure will only increase on Gennaro Gattuso at AC Milan after the Serie A side was beaten at home in the Europa League.

Gennaro Gattuso's AC Milan has struggled defensively — it has not registered a clean sheet in Serie A so far this season.   -  Getty Images

Gennaro Gattuso accepted responsibility after AC Milan "suffered" through a 2-1 Europa League defeat to Real Betis - a result that will no doubt increase the scrutiny over the head coach's future.

Giovani Lo Celso scored the second goal in sublime fashion having set up Antonio Sanabria's opener as the La Liga visitor eased into a two-goal lead at San Siro.

The Rossoneri struggled to find a way back into the contest before Samu Castillejo teed up Patrick Cutrone in the 83rd minute, with the former – who was sent off late on – also having a strong penalty shout during a frantic finish.

However, the result in Group F will lead to further speculation over Gattuso's position, with media reports suggesting Roberto Donadoni is being lined up as a replacement.

READ | AC Milan 1 Real Betis 2: Lo Celso excels to leave Gattuso on uncertain ground

"We lost direction. In this game, we suffered. We are losing our belief, the team is not playing with a free mind and is suffering a lot," Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia. 

"At this moment the mentality, the fragility of the team worries me. We must understand, at this time we are not even as good as we were for so long, we have not found that fluidity. We must talk to the players, see what problems there are, but my tactical ideas may be wrong too."

Gattuso's Milan has struggled defensively - it has not registered a clean sheet in Serie A so far this season – and, worryingly, looked short of ideas in attack until the closing stages against Betis.

"We must understand what is the solution to improve," he added. "At a mental level we are not able to react, we are not masters of the field. In defensive transition we have always suffered, but we were creating an attack. We did not even do that."

Milan returns to domestic action with a home game against Sampdoria on Sunday.

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