Former Italy coach Marcello Lippi has jumped to the defence of AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri. Allegri has come under pressure after Milan surrendered the Serie A leadership and were eliminated from the Champions League.

"I don't understand how in Italy one day you can be the best and the next you can be sacked," Lippi wrote in his Gazzetta dello Sport column.

"For a year and a half Allegri has gained great results and they have not been achieved by chance," the former Juventus tactician underlined.

"Allegri has overseen this cycle as a true leader.

"Milan didn't pick him by luck, he's part of a series of young winners - like Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti - who, with great motivation and tactical innovations, have constructed the recent history of this club.

"If today Juventus are winning the plaudits, I don't think that it is right that Max and his players deserve criticism. Especially the Coach."