Vincenzo Montella insists his relationship with Carlos Bacca is “under control and in harmony” after the Colombia international fired AC Milan to a late 1-0 win at Sampdoria on Friday.
Reports in the media this week suggested that head coach Montella was involved in a training ground bust-up with his star striker, who was dropped to the bench at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
However, Bacca was introduced as a second-half substitute and put himself back in Montella’s good books by prodding home a late winner for Milan’s second Serie A win of the campaign.
And Montella, who departed Sampdoria for San Siro in the close-season, insists all is well between himself and Bacca.
“Confrontations happen all the time, you cannot always share this with the public,” Montella, who was also impressed by the display Gianluca Lapadula who replaced Bacca in the starting XI, told Mediaset. “It’s all under control and in harmony.
“Bacca had a very important impact [in the match]. He entered with enthusiasm. Lapadula played a great game.
“Bacca and Lapadula together? It depends on the evolution of the team. Lapadula could play second striker perhaps.
“I liked the performance. In the first half Sampdoria did a little more, but we didn’t concede. In the second half, Milan did more in terms of fluidity of play. Anyone could have won, but we did more in the second half to win.”
For his part, Bacca – now on four goals for the campaign – was happy to have put a difficult week behind him.
“I spoke with Montella after training yesterday and he told me that Lapadula would start tonight,” Bacca told Sky Sport Italia.
“It’s hard for me to be on the bench, but I respect the decision of the coach. I work to always give my all on the pitch.
“I thank God for making me score this decisive goal. Montella always compliments me. I play with players who know how to play well.”