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Milan tore apart by world-class Chelsea!

The ninety minutes comes to an end in a telling match, between a team travelling on an upward tangent and one that is at an invariable standstill.

The scoreline does not effectively convey the dominant stranglehold Chelsea had over the game. The early stages of the match gave pause for hope, with a solid and certainly enthusiastic defensive display by Romagnoli in defensive and flashes of speed and creativity by Niang down the left wing. Following a Chelsea goal at ‘21, Bonaventura was able to equalize through a sublime free king from around 30-yards out at ‘38, a testament to the quality of a player who was unable to display his class and quality last season (though that is a statement that applies to any and every Milan player outside of Donnarumma!).

After going into the break at 1-1 and with reason to be optimistic, the introduction of Hazard (‘52), Kanté (‘52), Oscar (‘59) & Batshuayi (‘59) signaled the end of what could have been considered a competitive affair, and the beginning of Chelsea’s unrelinquishing control of the second half. The unparalleled squad depth of the opposition was made all too clear by these substitutions, and made further evident by the Oscar’s spot kick (‘70) following a Poli handball and a further Oscar goal (‘87) at a point in the game where Milan had well and truly conceded.

Postives? A silver-lining maybe? It must be said that with the absence of Bacca and Lapadula from the squad, a team lead by the likes of Luiz Adriano (4 league goals last season) left little in the hope of scoring threats. In addition Montella’s substitutions gave clear emphasis on providing game time to youth prospects such as Vido and Zanellato. Regardless, the gulf in quality between the two squads is startling and worrisome.

Unfortunately the real problems lie not so much out on the field but up in the board-room, which remains the true overriding story of the offseason.