AC Milan traveled south to Frosinone in the midst of a slump that had seen the Rossoneri fail to score in the past three Serie A matches and drop an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Olympiacos, a loss that sent Milan crashing out of the Europa League.
On the other hand, Frosinone had not won a match since late October, when they were able to win 3-0 at SPAL. their only win of the season. Most seasons would see nine points on Boxing Day as the form of the team at the bottom of the table, Chievo Verona has been an abject failure this season, having not only failed to win a single match, but also starting out the season with a three point penalty for financial shenanigans.
Mateo Musacchio made his return to the starting lineup, pairing with Alessio Romagnoli, but the bigger news was Patrick Cutrone being returned to the starting lineup and Suso failing to even make the trip due to an injury.
The first half saw Samu Castillejo go close on a couple different occasions, including hitting the post and having a shot saved by the Frosinone keeper.
Besides those couple shots on goal, however, the performance by Milan was less than inspiring, with the team looking poor and unable to get anyone really involved in the action. It’s become a cliche at this point, but Milan have been reduced to being a one-man team, as without Suso on the pitch, the team looks unable to get anything going.
Rip the #10 from his back i’ve seen enough. VAR bailed Milan.— (@chopez6) December 26, 2018
Frosinone goal disallowed. State of us though. Beautifully worked goal (after foul). And we can’t come close to that level of invention.— Milan Talk (@MilanTalk1) December 26, 2018
VAR saved Milan’s bacon in the first half, as after Hakan Calhanoglu was fouled in his own half and gave up the ball, Frosinone ripped right through the Milan defence and scored a beauty of a goal. Despite the foul in the build up, Milan did not stop playing, but rather just gave up the goal far, far too easily. The referee had missed the initial foul in the build-up, but beyond that, Milan just looked unable to dispossess a team that will struggle to stay in Serie A this season.
The second half started with more Milan pressure on the goal, but once against, the final product failed to materialize. An emboldened Frosinone absolutely put 10 men behind the ball and set out to defend at all costs, but their strategy had absolutely been working for most of the match.
Frosinone went close in the 59th minute, but the final shot just missed the far post after the Milan defense had allowed a good cross into the box and on another day, the shot might have slipped past Gigio Donnarumma for the opening goal of the match.
The chance from Frosinone seemed to spur Milan on, as they dialed up the pressure on the hosts, but once again, Milan could not find the ability to put a decent shot on net, much less get a goal.
Gennaro Gattuso, faced yet again with a game that Milan had failed to score in, once again brought on two fullbacks to “freshen up” the team. While yes, Diego Laxalt plays more as a winger than as a fullback and Andrea Conti is brilliant going forward, it’s becoming quite maddening that switching the right fullback seems to be the go-to move for a team that needs a goal for Gattuso.
Romagonoli had Milan’s best shot on net from a corner kick, but his header was saved by Marco Sportiello, the Frosinone goalkeeper. Gonzalo Higuain also went close in the 89th minute, but he put his shot into orbit instead of testing the keeper. For such a high-profile and experienced striker, you would have expected him to put that shot on net, given that he was all alone in the box with plenty of time to pick out his spot. Perhaps he was dreaming of West London real estate at the time.
Donnarumma once again bailed out Milan, as his save in stoppage time kept the clean sheet for Milan, and perhaps that’s the only takeaway from this match. Milan kept a clean sheet, but looked as if they would never, ever actually score a goal.
Milan hasn’t scored in the league since their 2-1 victory over Parma. Something has to change, and quick, if Milan are to get anything from this season as the European places will start to slip away if Milan’s run of poor form continues.