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Milan started off 2018 the right way

2018 starts with brisk smiles as Leo Bonucci secures 3 points for Milan

AC Milan v FC Crotone - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

“I am the worst coach in Serie A” said Gennaro Gattuso after beating arch-rivals, Inter Milan 1-0, on Wednesday in the Coppa Italia. Is he really that bad? Or was the statement made to make sure his men don’t get too complacent after Inter?

San Siro hosted the struggling Crotone following the win over Inter. The start was decent, and after a long time, there was room for hope. Milan dominated the game with 2/3rd of the possession and more than two dozen shots.

The chances kept on coming but there was no breakthrough at the halftime. The second half resumed and it was the same story again until 54th minute when Leonardo Bonucci scored. The goal was rather scrappy and not one to be bragged about, but we will take it. 3 points won’t hurt and at this point of the season, where the once opulent kings of Italian football are now sitting at 10th place on the table, we will take them with a smile on our faces.

The 7 minutes of added time had all of us on our toes, and Crotone early produced the equalizer, something reminiscent of Benevento’s late equalizer. Cordaz, Crotone’s keeper, has made some decent saves in the start and kept the side in the contest but a clearance ended up in the back of the net. Frank Kessie’s goal was ruled out, VAR at its finest, had kept the hopes alive for the visitors.

Milan had a decent game, not in terms of goals, but overall it was a nice display. They kept creating chances but failed to capitalize on the opportunities. For me, the midfield was wholesome today. Hakan Calhanoglu is starting to get his momentum back, Kessie was good – as ever, Giacomo Bonaventura had a couple of decent chances, and Suso was lively on the flank as well – dropping shoulders and cutting in, something he does brilliantly but lacked the finishing.

Being in 10th place, Milan are still hanging with one hand on a European slot and keeping a firm eye on 6th placed Sampdoria. We are still alive in both the Europa League and the Coppa Italia. A win at the San Siro has surely boosted the morale of a team who is seriously underperforming this season after an exquisite summer. New year, new hopes for Milan.