Here we will look at the partnerships that are flourishing and the chemistry developing in the squad.
AC Milan played with heart to clinch a key victory right at the death in front of the home fans. Gennaro Gattuso’s tactics were morefluid against AS Roma than Napoli and his substitutions were impactful however the major difference was the impressive link up play. The communication of the field was sublime going forward and Milan looked a team that could dominate possession. These are the partnerships that stood out and could be critical going forward.
Higuain x Cutrone
Undoubtedly the game-winning partnership with Gonzalo Higuain’s slick pass into Patrick Cutrone’s path. This was noticeable over the past two games where there seemed to be more space up front when both Higuain and Cutrone were on the pitch. Both players are unselfish making them hard to challenge as defenders do not know whether a pass or shot is coming. Having them on for longer periods could allow them to support each other and give the team more options in the box.
Castillejo x Laxalt
Gattuso made two key changes injecting some energy and a creative spark into the game by taking off Ricardo Rodriguez and Hakan Calhanoglu for Diego Laxalt and Samu Castillejo. There was a visible slowing prior to the substitutions and thereafter the pace and willingness to take on defenders reignited Milan’s attack. The pair are demonstrating the importance of having depth in the squad to make a late impact in games, their interplay and speed will be important to unlock tight defences.
Castillejo and Laxalt with so much pace pic.twitter.com/n8HBipEJs4— Isak Möller (@Isak_Moller) September 1, 2018
Higuain x Calhanoglu
Perhaps this is one of the key partnerships going forward between the creator and the finisher. Calhanoglu and Higuain shared nifty one twos in the first half and knew how to link up well on the counter. It was Calhanoglu’s first game back and his rustiness was visible but the potential is clearly visible, a few more games together and they could be daunting force rushing at defenders. There is need for more communication as there were some frustrating moments but this will improve over time.
Milan high pressing wins the ball back and Higuain tests Olsen for the first time today pic.twitter.com/3eaprJSPLn— Para (@Paracelsus) August 31, 2018
Kessie x Suso
The pair have built on their time together from the previous season and looked to be complementing each other against Roma. They interchanged well and supported Davide Calabria going forward. Franck Kessie was pressing well winning the ball and releasing Suso onto the wings. The brightest moment of the partnership was when Kessie adopted Suso’s run into the far post snatching a goal from Rodriguez brilliant cross. Their chemistry on the right wing is providing stability to Milan’s build-up play.
Some more examples of the midfield and winger interchanges in Gattuso's 4-3-3, this time with Kessie and Suso. pic.twitter.com/ZwMnh7Ojav— Raf (@Rafianco) September 1, 2018
Biglia x Everyone
Hands down the standout performer against Roma. Lucas Biglia worked hard to rise from his mistakes in Naples to put in a stellar performance with a pass completion rate of 98%. He pulled the strings are combined well with Mateo Musacchio and Alessio Romagnoli to dominate possession in Milan’s half before linking up with the attack. Biglia was tactically sound and seemed to have a sixth sense anticipating passes and interceptions alike almost flawlessly. Not his best performance but a good benchmark.
98% passing— Para (@Paracelsus) August 31, 2018
1 chance created
1 duel won pic.twitter.com/4KswLCB8Wl
The partnerships between players and the team chemistry undoubtedly played a massive role in the victory against Roma. The development of relationships and communication will be key to making the team lethal and effective in possession play and finishing. Gattuso is improving the outlook of the squad and will do wonders if he can enhance the understanding between the players.
Which is Milan's best partnership?
This poll is closed
Higuain x Cutrone
Calhanoglu x Higuain
Kessie x Suso
Laxalt x Castillejo
Biglia x Musacchio x Romagnoli