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Waiting for Coppa Italia: an inside look at Milan's defensive movements

Waiting for the Coppa Italia final, let's look at the defensive adjustments Milan have to make compared to their last match against Juventus.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

AC Milan had one of their best performances of the season against Juventus in their last Serie A match, but the Rossoneri still couldn't get away from San Siro with the three points due to a couple of fatal defensive errors. For that reason, it will be really important for them to make some defensive adjustment so let's look at what they need to improve before the Coppa Italia final.

Considering that Christian Brocchi will probably choose the old 4-4-2 formation that Siniša Mihajlović used during the entire season, Milan will have to adjust to Juventus' ball movement and frequent long ball from a wing to the other in order to take advantage of their 5-men midfield. As you can see in the video below, Luca Antonelli makes a good coverage on Paul Pogba not allowing him to go to the center of the field but he's then trapped in a 1vs2 situation due to the late coverage by Giacomo Bonaventura. In this kind of situation, Jack should be closer to Antonelli in order to cover Juventus' right midfielder movement while Juraj Kucka takes care of their central midfielder -- in this case Claudio Marchisio -- avoiding an easy shot from the long range.

Now an important situation involving Alessio Romagnoli and Mario Mandzukić as they score the equalizer.

In this situation Romagnoli tries to challenge a player who's much more physical -- and experienced -- than him on a high ball, letting a huge space behind him for an easy pass that eventually leads to Mandzukic's goal. Alex couldn't do anything since he was covering Álvaro Morata proving that sometimes it's better not challenging strong forwards like the Croatian in order to avoid easy through passes like this.

When you face Juventus you have to pay attention to their quick transition from defense to offense when they recover the ball in the middle of the field, especially when Pogba is the man who carries the ball. As you can see in the video below, Riccardo Montolivo does a great job facing the French midfielder but just behind him Romagnoli and Antonelli don't communicate and leave Lichsteiner completely free to shoot from a good position.

In this situation Romagnoli shouldn't let his opponent go behind him forcing Antonelli to make an emergency move towards the center and leaving Juventus' right midfielder completely alone. In defense of Milan's 21-year-old center back, Alex is too far from him and makes his decision tougher than it would be.

Massimiliano Allegri could count on Paulo Dybala for the Coppa Italia final so there could be some differences between this game and the one we'll see on Saturday night, but the Rossoneri should still keep the focus on the game and avoid these tiny errors that could cost them their only chance to qualify to the Europa League.