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AC Milan in double digit: another draw against Chievo Verona

A scoreless draw and one of the most boring game of the year with AC Milan not convincing again.

Midfield battle between Nigel De Jong and Valter Birsa
Midfield battle between Nigel De Jong and Valter Birsa
Dino Panato/Getty Images
It's the 10th draw this season and another two points wasted for AC Milan.

A scoreless draw against one of the worst team of this year Serie A is not a good result after the "encouraging" win last week in Cesena, but that is even more alarming if we look at the way the team played last night in Verona. Both team spent large parts of the match battling in the midfield and missing easy passes, but when they - rarely - were able to shoot at the goal they showed all their offensive struggles (3/11 on goal for AC Milan and 2/11 for Chievo Verona).

The shot accuracy wasn't the real problem for AC Milan because they had problems (again) at creating chances and be aggressive in all the phases. 60% of ball possession would be a great element if it was combined to a high percentage of forward passes, but, unfortunately, only 32% of them were forward passes (40% for Chievo). Almost 60% were lateral and that means that AC Milan ball possession was unproductive and it slowed down the tempo allowing Chievo to close all the spaces.

In addition the new tactical disposition made all these problems worse. It was the first time in my life I couldn't understand how the players were positioned on the field: they were running up-and-down with trying to chase their opponents but they were always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pippo sent on the field an almost "improvised" 4-3-1-2 with Destro and Menez as forwards and Bonaventura behind them so a formation we never saw before. That was tiring even for the best athletes of AC Milan midfield (Bonaventura, Poli, De Jong) and added confusion to an already disordered team, making more difficult to play in a decent way.

Yesterday game was a deathly mix of old problems and tactical confusion, but there was also some pretty good news.
  • We saw the first minutes of Keisuke Honda as CAM and he hit the crossbar at his first shot on target, the only dangerous shot of the game. A good second half off the bench for him.
  • Bocchetti played great and covered well against Chievo "dynamic duo" Meggiorini-Pellissier (yeah, the old Sergio Pellisier).
And some less serious good news.
It was an awful game so we have to look even at the bad news and they're all about our poor midfield.
  • De Jong played quite good but was replaced by Alessio Cerci because of a muscular injury.
  • Riccardo Montolivo was replaced by Keisuke Honda at half-time because of a muscular injury too.
AC Milan will face the other team of the city of Verona - Hellas Verona - next Saturday, hoping that their defensive problems will give a new life to our struggling offense.