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Tactical Review of a Solid Milan Victory at Home Versus Parma

AC Milan put in a good performance to edge out a 2-1 victory against Parma taking a hold of the 4th position. Here's a review of the positives from the game.

AC Milan v Parma Calcio - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

AC Milan put up a determined performance against Parma making a comeback to win 2-1. The team is beginning to show off Gattuso's style of play with quick counters, impressive possession play and a whole lot of grinta!

Wasteful on the Counter

This is a bitter-sweet point. On the one hand Milan looked fired up on the counter, over the course of the game there were at least 4 instances where Milan burst forward usually through a Franck Kessie run or a Hakan Calhanoglu/Ricardo Rodriguez vertical ball with Suso receiving the ball up front. On the other hand the counter attacks all went to waste just outside the box with misplaced passes, poor decisions or lack of confidence. This play will hopefully improve with Gonzalo Higuain back on the pitch as he can be a calming presence on the ball and can lay-off passes better than Patrick Cutrone. Gennaro Gattuso’s work should be appreciated in this regard as Milan began the season with uninspired and lethargic counters but now look to be lethal on the break.

Bakayoko with another Stellar Show

It has been quite comical watching everyone backtrack on their statements regarding Tiémoué Bakayoko. I must admit that I am delighted to have Bakayoko performing well as anything less would have been devastating for Milan and our ambitions this season. He has grown in confidence and is imposing his will in the midfield. Bakayoko’s passing and awareness seems to be improving with each passing game, he is linking up well with Kessie and the CBs to hold possession in the middle of the park when needed. Most importantly he has begun threading passes forward and not only playing the ball horizontally, this has been a frustration for Milan where we keep possession but do not utilise it. Hope he grows more and cements that spot.

Cutrone is Clinical

Cutrone is an unbelievable player. I do not want to overhype him but it is truly incredible to see what a strong spirit can get you. He intercepted the ball, split the defence, set up Suso for a cross and followed up a loose ball to get on the score sheet against Parma. That 30 seconds of pressure led to a mistake and he capitalised with a clean volley into the back of the net. The difference between Cutrone and many competing attackers is that genuine hunger and the drive to make things happen. Cutrone does need to work on his composure on the ball so as to improve his passing and decision making to utilise supporting options.

Kessie Needs to Improve His Finishing

Kessie is truly the engine of this Milan squad, without his efforts both attacking and defending would suffer. He is a rare player who actually lives up to the box-to-box midfielder label. Kessie scored the winner against Parma from the penalty spot and did so with nerves of steel following an unrelenting delay that built the pressure up. Despite his comfortable finish, Kessie could have easily scored another goal or two as well as assisted a pair of chances if his passing and shooting abilities were better. Despite his amazing and integral performances for the Rossoneri since he joined, it is very clear that there is room for improvement that could make Kessie one of the best midfielders in the Calcio.

Solid String of Performances

The most important takeaway is that Gattuso is building confidence in a time off crisis. We, as fans, should not forget that we have got 7 out of 9 points since the International break with Andrea Conti, Mattia Caldara, Mateo Musacchio, Alessio Romagnoli, Giacomo Bonaventura and Lucas Biglia out with injuries. Also Higuain was suspended in the League while Samu Castillejo was suspended for the Europa game. Gattuso is being proactive in his approach to rotation and testing formations but most importantly the team has found their fighting spirit as they came back from losing positions twice this week. Moreover Gattuso made another immediate impact substitution with Fabio Borini. Only when the players believe in the Coach and the system is this possible hence I applaud Gattuso for ensuring the team did not slump and unnecessarily drop points. Let’s hope this continues!

Poll

Which of Gattuso's favourite subs is impacting the game most? (excl. Cutrone)

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Fabio Borini
    (134 votes)
  • 37%
    Samu Castillejo
    (134 votes)
  • 4%
    Jose Mauri
    (16 votes)
  • 9%
    Diego Laxalt
    (33 votes)
  • 11%
    Ignazio Abate
    (43 votes)
360 votes total Vote Now