AC Milan kept their faint title hopes alive with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Parma on Saturday afternoon.
First half goals from Ante Rebic and Franck Kessie gave them a 2-0 lead at the break.
However, things got a lot more difficult when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card on the hour mark.
Nobody quite knew why the legendary Swede had been sent off and the striker himself looked extremely confused. Replays were inconclusive and the only solution was that Zlatan must have said something to referee Fabio Maresca.
But what had he said?
Well, according to a video being shared on social media and comments from Milan manager Stefano Pioli, Ibrahimovic didn’t actually insult the ref.
“Zlatan told me he discussed something with the referee for a while, but did not show a lack of respect and absolutely did not insult him. I haven’t spoken to Maresca, so I don’t know,” Pioli said.
“Zlatan told me the final thing he said was: ‘So you’re not interested in what I have to say?’ I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.”
If that’s the case, then surely Maresca misheard Zlatan. Either way, it’s one of the most bizarre red cards we’ve ever seen.
In fact, according to reports, Maresca thought Ibrahimovic said “Sei un bastardo = You are a b*****d” instead of “Mi sembra strano = it seems strange to me.”
Six minutes after Zlatan was sent off, Parma got themselves back into the game.
However, the away side held on before making it 3-1 in injury-time through Rafael Leao.
Whether Zlatan’s ban will be upheld remains to be seen but it will certainly be interesting to hear from Maresca.