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Lazio vs Milan by the numbers: The key to victory is defense!

As Milan make the Coppa Italia final, we’re breaking down the key numbers that forged the path to a showdown with Juventus

SS Lazio v AC Milan - TIM Cup Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Life comes full circle. AC Milan are facing Juventus in the Coppa Italia final once again!

After the scoreless draw at the San Siro in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Lazio, the Rossoneri had a tough matchup in Rome in order to qualify to the final. Lazio are the best offensive team in the Serie A, but it mattered not, Milan were able to leave them with a stalemate in over 200 minutes of playing time. Let’s take a look at how they did that in such a crucial game. It’s time to focus on the key numbers

55%

Controlling the aerial game was led to a solid defensive performance and it is not just because of the defenders. Riccardo Montolivo and Nikola Kalinic recorded 4 and 3 successful aerial duels respectively, contributing to Milan’s defence in the air. It has to be mentioned that the Croatian forward had to battle one of the best defenders of the Serie A, Stefan De Vrij, for the ball. As an aside, the performance of Milan’s centre-backs, Alessio Romagnoli and Leonardo Bonucci, was amazing and showed how much they’re improving together.

21

Milan allowed 21 attempts on goal during the game, but only 6 of those were actually on target. This is both testament to Lazio’s huge offensive potential and Milan’s ability to stop the leading scorer of Serie A, Ciro Immobile. The 2018 version of the Rossoneri have already recorded 6 straight clean sheets and continue to show an impressive consistency in this phase, which is not only thanks to Bonucci, Romagnoli and the rest of the defensive line, but also Lucas Biglia. The Argentinian midfielder play a crucial role in Milan’s system: he acts like a screen in front of the line of the defenders, trying to breakdown the attack and set up the Rossoneri run for counterattacks.

53.2%

Ball possession was how Milan controlled the game.The Rossoneri had to slow down Lazio’s pace in order to contain their deadly offensive weapons: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto, Immobile and Felipe Anderson are way more dangerous in quick situations rather than in slow build-ups. Also, the Rossoneri were never caught off guard thanks to this approach, which made following the gameplay easier.

Another solid performance under the guide of Gennaro Gattuso!