The Swedish star put his side two goals ahead at half-time but that wouldn’t prove enough after a shocking second-half showing.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic stated AC Milan “stopped playing” as the star striker lamented the Rossoneri’s collapse after they surrendered a two-goal lead against city rivals Inter in a thrilling Derby della Madonnina.
Milan’s 2-0 half-time lead was wiped out in a matter of moments by Serie A name hopefuls Inter, who turned the derby on its head with four unanswered goals to sensationally win 4-2 at San Siro on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic provided the assist for Ante Rebic’s 40th-minute opener before becoming the oldest Serie A goalscorer at Milan derby history in first-half stoppage time.
Milan, however, were unable to hold on against Inter, who made a stunning comeback to leapfrog defending champions Juventus atop the table.
“It’s difficult to explain what occurred,” the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic told Sky Sport Italia after scoring his third goal since returning to Milan in January.
“We stopped playing, the team stopped believing, we stopped pressing, did not pass it . In the equaliser onwards, everything dropped.
“I think a lot of it is down to experience since you have to know how to control a game at 2-0 up, not only winning in the end.
“It is odd because our first half was practically perfect. I expected more from Inter and the first-half operation didn’t look like a team worthy of the second place. They did after the break.”
Milan coach Stefano Pioli admitted he was angry with his side for not capitalising on what was a fantastic first 45 minutes.
“I’m angry with my players, since we had some defensive responsibilities in those scenarios and the moment we let it go, we were punished,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.
“It is a real shame, as we had been in control and outplaying a powerful group, which makes it seem like there wasn’t a 19-point gap between us. We’d defensive duties and we didn’t perform them.
“It was absolutely our best first half of this season, but we lost a derby that we had been winning, and we have to build on the qualities we showed in that first half. The match must be analysed on the whole.”