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AC Milan showed a new variation of their 4-3-3 against Chievo Verona

Montella is a pure tactical genius.

ACF Fiorentina v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

AC Milan are in the middle of a tactical revolution and this became even more obvious after Sunday’s match against Chievo Verona.

Vincenzo Montella has been working on his idea of 4-3-3 since the first day he arrived in Milanello and now we can see the results of his methods!

From 4-men to three-men defense:

This is the first example of his work with the defenders.

GIF taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8PHpUKIxHE

As you can see in this short gif of the kickoff, the rossoneri used a three-men defensive line when in possession of the ball with Gabriel Paletta at right-center back, Alessio Romagnoli at the center of the line and Mattia De Sciglio at left-center back.

This tactical variation allowed Ignazio Abate to stay closer to Suso and play offensively, which is definitely what he does best, but, at the same time - Milan had three men ready to cover the opponents’ counterattacks. The Rossoneri have always struggled against well-organized teams like Chievo Verona, so this was definitely a good adjustment for a more balanced tactical disposition.

From 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1:

Here is another adjustment — which was quite hard to notice throughout the match — but this time regarding Giacomo Bonaventura’s position.

GIF taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8PHpUKIxHE

Just a few moments before Milan scored the first goal of the night thanks to Juraj Kucka’s incredible shot, the Rossoneri showed a clear three-men line a few meters behind Gianluca Lapadula formed by Suso on the right, Bonaventura at center and M’baye Niang on the left. Kucka and Manuel Locatelli — who doesn’t appear in these frames — took the two central position at midfield to cover the defensive line. This variation led to a clear change from the initial 4-3-3 to the 4-2-3-1.

The fact that Bonaventura had to take the central attacking midfielder position opened a lot of space to Mariano Izco and Fabrizio Cacciatore, but this was a calculated risk since Chievo’s right wing was definitely weaker than the left one.

These tactical variations show how well Montella has been working with the team so far and he won’t stop to add variations to Milan’s playbook.