Gattuso and Milan defend under-fire Donnarumma

Gennaro Gattuso insisted errors are part and parcel of football as he backed 19-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to come good.

AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma   -  Getty Images

AC Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso leapt to the defence of star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma following another shaky performance.

Donnarumma was far from convincing again after his error-riddled performance against Juventus in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday as Milan drew 1-1 with Atalanta in Serie A on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Italy international made it into the headlines again after making a mess of what should have been a routine save – Atalanta equalising in the 92nd minute via Andrea Masiello's header.

However, Gattuso insisted errors are part and parcel of football as he backed Donnarumma, who has been linked with French champions Paris Saint-Germain among other European giants.

"Let's not always put the blame on him," Gattuso told Mediaset Premium. "I don't think it was a mistake. It was a powerful header from close range.

"Gigio has to stay calm, he is 19 years old and gets judged for the money he earns, but you don't buy experience at a supermarket. Errors are part of the game."

Milan's director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli added: "We tried to protect the lad who had some problems in the final and he will make more mistakes, because he is young.

"He is precious to this club and we reassured him that the future is all his."

The result secured a Europa League berth for sixth-placed Milan, who are set to go straight into the group stage with one round remaining.

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