Bassong tunnel row adds to Italian's woe

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The milan captain Gennaro Gattuso had to be restrained in the tunnel on Tuesday night after trying to attack Tottenham's Sébastien Bassong following their 1-0 win in San Siro, and it now looks certain that Gattuso will face further Uefa sanctions.

It is understood that the Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic intervened between Gattuso and Bassong in the tunnel, picking up one player under each arm to separate them. For all the bad feeling between the two sides, Ibrahimovic's actions calmed the situation and his directness – not to mention his strength – were the source of some amusement among the players.

The governing body are prone to turn a blind eye to tunnel rows that take place away from the cameras but they will not be able to ignore the Italian's headbutt of Spurs' first-team coach Joe Jordan. Uefa said yesterday that their disciplinary body would look at the incident although Gattuso is already banned for the return leg on 9 March having picked up a booking in the game.

However, there will be no further punishment for Mathieu Flamini for his ill-judged two-footed lunge on Vedran Corluka in the second half which resulted in the Croatian being carried off on a stretcher. Uefa confirmed that the booking he was given at the time by French referee Stéphane Lannoy meant that no further action could be taken.

Having refused to divulge what was said by Jordan to him on Tuesday night, Gattuso's agent alleged on an Italian radio station yesterday that his client had been called a "fucking Italian bastard" by Jordan. Claudio Pasqualin said: "For someone like Rino, who has a strong sense of belonging to Italy, I think this is the most cowardly and unspeakable of insults."

Jordan has refused to comment on what was said between the two. However, it would seem that he was anticipating a confrontation at the end of the game because the Scot removed his glasses at the final whistle shortly before Gattuso sought him out to go nose-to-nose.

In an interview with talkSport radio yesterday, Redknapp raised the stakes ahead of the return leg at White Hart Lane when he said that he could not envisage many of the Milan players getting into his Spurs team. "I'm not underestimating Milan, as we've got the second leg to come, but there aren't that many players there that you'd really clamour to get in your team," Redknapp said.

On the confrontation between Gattuso and Jordan, Redknapp said: "When he came over at the end of the game, I thought he was going to apologise to Joe. I shook hands with him, I thought he was OK and realised he'd made a mistake. Next thing I know he's nutted Joe. Not that it had much effect on him, all them balls he's headed over the years.

"Joe's the quietest man in the world, but a very hard man. You wouldn't want to pick an argument with him. But he's the loveliest guy you could ever wish to meet. I don't know what happened with Gattuso – he lost his head over something."