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Carlo Ancelotti blasts 'attack on my professionalism' in red card rage

Josip Ilicic struck a disputed 86th-minute equaliser amid a 2-2 draw.

Carlo Ancelotti (file pic).
Carlo Ancelotti (file pic).
Image: Cafaro/Lapresse

NAPOLI COACH Carlo Ancelotti and his assistant were sent off in a fiery end to an entertaining 2-2 draw against Atalanta in Serie A on Wednesday.

Josip Ilicic struck a disputed 86th-minute equaliser that was upheld following a lengthy VAR review, as Napoli appealed for a penalty.

Napoli forward Fernando Llorente tumbled to the ground after jostling with Simon Kjaer in the Atalanta area before the visitors countered and scored through Ilicic.

A five-minute interruption followed before the referee awarded the goal without reviewing the incident on the touchline monitor. 

Images suggested Llorente committed the initial foul but Ancelotti and his assistant coach were shown red cards for protesting the decision.

“I consider what happened an attack on my professionalism, my players and my club,” Ancelotti said.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was livid with the controversial finish to the game.

“If there is VAR it’s pointless creating eight minutes of additional time because all that happens is pushing and shouting,” he told Sky Sport Italia. 

“And what is this buffoonery from the referee who kicks out a gentleman like Ancelotti?

“We’re fed up. Without us the referees would be peeling potatoes. We’re tired of paying for this standard of officiating.”

Nikola Maksimovic had headed in a Jose Callejon cross to give Napoli the lead on 16 minutes at the San Paolo, but Remo Freuler levelled just before half-time when his shot squirmed through goalkeeper Alex Meret.

Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik hit the post and crossbar before putting Napoli back on top on 71 minutes when he raced onto a Fabian Ruiz pass and rounded Pierluigi Gollini.

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However, Ilicic levelled and nearly grabbed a winner in stoppage time as Atalanta stayed third, four points behind Inter Milan who beat Brescia 2-1 on Tuesday.

Juventus would reclaim top spot with victory at home to Genoa later on Wednesday.

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