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Tactical Review of Milan's Flop at Empoli

Milan dropped valuable points from a winning situation ... AGAIN! A look at what we are doing wrong.

Empoli v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

AC Milan had an unfortunate game against Empoli mostly because of all the missed chances. The Empoli keeper was on fire and was by far the MOTM, Milan did not play their best but one cannot deny the blatant bad luck. Here are some tactical takeaways from the game:

Our Midfielders will be an Attacking Threat

Bonaventura has always been a threat going forward over the past couple of seasons but this year his runs and movement are clearly refined. Kessie has been the King of Second Balls this season however his finishing is terrible. Against Empoli he had three golden opportunities to score from rebounds but tanked two of them and there was one magnificent save by Terracciano. If Bonaventura and Kessie continue to make their menacing runs into the box and attack loose balls they can combine for at east 10-15 goals over the season. But they must put their shots on target and play clinically.

Defensive Partnership in Shambles

Musacchio and Romagnoli are not clicking. It’s that simple. Neither look comfortable passing to the other nor do they seem to trust each other when chasing the ball leading to confusion and holes when under counter attacks. Most importantly they absolutely do not function under pressure leading to mistakes that have been costly. I am desperate to see Caldara in the line-up and have a defensive partnership that will fight to the last second to not concede as scoring three or so goals a game is not going to be easy. Moreover there needs to be some calm at the back, we have spoken multiple times about a lack of composure but a calming presence would be appreciated.

Milan Lack an Identity

This season Milan have dropped seven points from winning situations after just five rounds of football. The team has an identity crisis and this is reflecting in the play that starts off incredibly vibrant with Milan dominating the first half of almost every game but fading out in the second half leading to critical mistakes. The story of the season so far could be described most aptly as ‘The Tale of Missed Chances.’ We have missed so many chances to kill off games that every time we miss it is almost obvious that we will rue the chance in the second half. Gattuso needs to change the mentality and inject some of his ‘grinta.’

Milan Lack Depth in Key Positions

Fabio Borini can be criticsed for many things but after this week we can never say that he is not a versatile footballer. The stat being thrown around online is a true testament to Gattuso’s love for Borini as a jack of all trades although his output quality is highly questionable. It is almost criminal to play him as a Striker given his poor touch and wayward shooting but that is where Milan find themselves having loaned out Andre Silva leaving a gaping lack of depth up front. Silva’s incredible performances in the Liga make it even worse but we must not forget how much he struggled last season. All in all Leonardo must bear some blame for allowing Silva to leave even though it may have been the player’s choice as now Milan look vulnerable and have three competitions lined up without a fully fit Higuain nor Cutrone.

Milan Need Leadership

In as much as I love Romagnoli and 100% back the decision for him to become the new Captain, he needs time to settle into the role and time to become a commander of his team. He needs to discover his ‘Roar’ and will need to inspire his team to always go the extra mile to grind out 1-0 and 2-1 victories. It was admirable for him to openly take the blame for his mistake but now we need a strong response against Sassuolo to make up for the error. Now more than ever the senior players need to guide the squad back on track and inspire them to not throw away the season so early.

Poll

Will Milan respond with a victory over Sassuolo?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Yes, convincing victory
    (90 votes)
  • 22%
    No, thumping loss
    (40 votes)
  • 27%
    No, measly draw
    (49 votes)
179 votes total Vote Now