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Tactical Review of Convincing Milan Win at Sassuolo

Milan beat Sassuolo 4-1 on the road to register their second win of the season. This is a tactical review of the game and what changed for the squad.

US Sassuolo v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

AC Milan pulled off a stunning victory against a Sassuolo side that had a strong start to the season. The squad also managed to score four times without a single striker on the pitch until the 75th minute. Here is a look at the improved tactics:

A Little Determination Makes a Big Difference

Abate made an incredible tackle at the 34th minute to keep Milan in the game otherwise we could have been looking at a very different result. The determination to slide in and block the shot of Di Francesco that would have undoubtedly ended up in the back of the net capped a good showing from the veteran. The biggest difference during the Sassuolo game was the determination of the players to chase down loose balls and to drive up the pitch. Musacchio had an incredible interception and drive up the pitch as well and Kessie made the most of his defensive duties. Seeing the players going the extra mile surely made the difference in the game with a few key moments defining the result.

Kessie, Kessie ... KESSIE

After the Empoli game, I spoke about how Bonaventura and Kessie will be key players in the attack and surely enough Frank delivered. Kessie pulled off a minute of individual brilliance and scored an unbelievable golazo from a pretty average shot. Kessie and Bonaventura have been instrumental going forward and the game against Sassuolo showed the importance of a little individualism and selfishness where the players take their chances the first time. It is important for Milan to gel as a team but it is incredibly impactful for a few individuals to pull off moments of brilliance similar to Kessie for his goal and Suso for his first goal. Milan picked up some good signings over the summer who have the ability to be game changers and they should be encouraged to try this out.

Donnarumma is Solid as Nails

Donnarumma came under fire a lot in the previous season from the contract issues that arose in the summer prior however he has not been given credit where it is due this season. Donnarumma has made some brilliant saves in the first few games, he has been devastatingly good in one-on-one situations and he has drastically improved in his passing. He has been a calming presence more than anything and he has been commanding in a defence that has not performed up to scratch. It is unfortunate that Milan have not kept a clean sheet in Serie A since April but hopefully this will change soon as Donnarumma has been consistent and deserves this.

Confidence is Building Upfront

Many rossoneri fans have openly complained about the inability for Milan to make decisive moves when in and around the box. Milan have a good rhythm to their buildup play but seem to run out of ideas when they need to cross the ball into the box, make a final pass or even take a shot. But the game against Sassuolo we saw some confidence and some decisiveness in the attacking play. Kessie made an incredible individual run up the pitch for his goal, Suso made a quick turn and shot from outside the box for his first, Castillejo brilliantly controlled his pass and immediately let fly for goal and Suso took two cracks at goal from his set piece to round out four goals for Milan. The decisiveness is impactful as it catches defences out and makes Milan unpredictable.

A Little Bit of Luck

Another pick up from the previous article where I discussed Milan‘s poor run was partly due to some bad luck. Suso last minute goal was pure luck, the block fell kindly and the deflection fooled the keeper making way for Suso first brace of the season. That little bit of luck gave a huge morale boost to the team and provided some much needed confidence for the fans. The team had a few moments such as Abate’s last ditch tackle, Donnarumma’s save on Boateng and the Suso goal just saw a little luck going our way. Milan currently stand as the only team alongside Juventus who have not lost more than once, if we can start a winning run we could recover for the past couple of draws.