One would’ve thought that the first minutes of the game foreshadowed the run of play of the rest of the match, with Milan playing a game of possession and dictating when and where, and Cagliari going for broke on the counter-attack, as the Rossoneri once again hit the ground running, with an early goal. It was Cutrone again, the youngster tapping in the ball after a nice cross from Suso.
After the goal, the game evened out a little, but it didn’t stop there. It only went downhill for Milan, as they losed their cutting edge and slowly but surely slipped into the back seat, allowing Cagliari to take center stage. The goal only seemed a stroke of luck at the end of the first half, as calling a spade a spade, Cagliari were the better team on the pitch, a perpetual threat to Donnarumma’s goal and pushing for an equalizer.
After the break, it looked briefly like Milan were going to get back a grip on the game. A 56th-minute level-drawing goal by Cagliari proved it wasn’t the case. It was well-deserved, and you could see it coming. They kept the squeeze on Milan and a ball lost by Kessie just outside the box was enough of a mistake for Cagliari to capitalize on.
Things weren’t looking good, and as things stood, Milan wrestling back on top didn’t seem likely. It was game about nobody stepping up, nobody coming to the fore to change the dismal course of the match. It looked like the players were all waiting for that one man to emerge and orchestrate the team, to take the fight to Cagliari, and make things happen. Someone inspired. Nobody emerged.
That is, however, until Suso came to the rescue and hurled Milan back in front, scoring on 70 minutes from a spectacular free kick.
The game ended two-one. Three points taken, six points out of six, after the first two games. But all that aside, there are lots of things to take away from this game, a game to forget. The defensive line, at times solid, looked rickety and full of holes waiting to be picked on. There is something missing in attack. Some players still need time and must find their feet. Some players have no business in the starting eleven. For starters. To put things into perspective, Cagliari’s previous game was away against Juventus. They went 3-0 down, but outweighing the scoreline was the manner in which they were defeated, which is to say by means of an imposing game.
There were a few bright spots too... but Milan do not look like a finished product. We still need time, and mercifully we didn’t start out the season against the title contenders. But the question is how much time is there really left for every cog in this Milan machine to fall into place?
Cagliari leave at San Siro not only three points, but also a couple of question marks for Milan to sleep on.