​AC Milan have released a statement defending the controversial celebration from Tiemoue Bakayoko and Franck Kessie following Saturday's 1-0 win over Lazio.

The pair celebrated in front of the crowd with the shirt of Lazio's Francesco Acerbi, who offered up his shirt after a week of exchanging tweets with Bakayoko. However, both Milan midfielders have been criticised for a perceived lack of class as a result of the incident.

In a post on their ​official website​Milan looked to clarify the misunderstanding, insisting that the celebrations were all meant in a lighthearted nature.

They wrote: "AC Milan would like to explain the events following the meeting of the 32nd matchday between Milan and Lazio and to express some clarifications. 

"The Rossoneri players, at the end of the game, went under the South curve of the San Siro stadium to greet the public. It is customary to approach the stands for a final 'thank you'.

"Yesterday evening, Tiemoue Bakayoko joined his team mates under the stands with Francesco Acerbi's jersey, having just exchanged his shirt a little earlier, and showed it for a few seconds (along with Franck Kessie) to the public with the sole intention of celebrating an important victory with no mockery, no aggressive or anti-sporting intentions: an innocent, naive response to the friendly exchange of tweets with Acerbi in the days before the race.

"This is demonstrated by the dynamics of what happened, the expressions of the players, the total absence of whistles or other negative elements. 

"To confirm this, in noting that this really innocent incident had later upset Francesco Acerbi (a player who all Milan players respect), both Tiemoue and Franck publicly apologised to him. 

Photo TestFrancesco Acerbi

"This feeling has also been shared by Lazio sporting director Igli Tare, who declared at the end of the match that the incident was simply 'part of a heated match that we should not dwell on.'

"Milan is founded on values such as respect (on and off the field), equity, inclusion: Tiemoue and Franck know, share and express those values every day."