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Tactical Review of Milan's Vital Away Win Against Genoa to Enter 4th Place

Milan won vital points on the road against Genoa despite a tough first half. Here’s a look at what went right in the second half:

Genoa CFC v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

AC Milan won vital points on the road against Genoa despite a tough first half. Here's a look at what went right in the second half:

Conti Adds Space and Options

Andrea Conti played an important role against Genoa as he replaced Cristian Zapata early on and proceeded to work down the right wing. He was vital in breaking the deadlock with a sublime assist for Fabio Borini. He did fantastically throughout the game adds options for Suso on the right by running into space and taking on defenders. Moreover it seemed as though Milan were more likely to attack with Suso and Conti on the ball as opposed to returning the ball to the midfield and defence to hold possession. Conti’s confidence and his technical ability will be going critical going forward as he has had two game changing assists in the past three games leading to opening goals against Sampdoria and now Genoa.

Donnaruma with Another Big Performance

I have said this many times before since November, Gigio is getting back to his best. He has been instrumental in saving us points making important saves to keep us in the game or in the lead. He did the same on numerous occasions against Genoa making difficult saves and holding Goran Pandev and Miguel Veloso at bay. More importantly Donnarumma is playing a vital role in jump starting Milan’s counter attacks with his improved vision, passing and ball distribution. It is very encouraging to see Donnarumma performing well as he recorded his 5th Serie A Clean Sheet of the season in the past 10 games.

Paqueta Brings Flair and Sting

Lucas Paqueta is just getting started but looks great on the ball and seems to be adjusting quite well to Italy. His technique on the ball is fabulous and you can see his child-like desire to play with flair and to raise the crowd. He did well against Genoa opening up space and switching wings effectively. Perhaps his best moment was his emphatic shot that stung the right post and denied him his first Milan goal. The best takeaway was that we now have a midfielder who can control his goals shots and add a new attacking threat of rebounds as Franck Kessie, Giacomo Bonaventura and Tiémoué Bakayoko have struggled in this regard for a while now. Paqueta is clearly easing the creative work of Bakayoko and helping him grow as well hence the midfield is looking more balanced.

Bakayoko with another MOTM

The Bakayoko transformation is honestly unbelievable. Bakayoko could not string together passes and now he is stringing MOTM awards together. He is transforming into a complete midfielder, he has a long way to go before he is one of the best but he is doing the job for Milan. Bakayoko is a menace in the midfield winning all loose balls, cleaning up with his interceptions and marshalling the defence with strong tackles. We even caught some glimpses of Bakayoko making runs forward and joining the attack demonstrating a growth in confidence. We saw Bakayoko adopt a more conservative and defensive role in Genoa as Kessie was out but he showed that he can handle a deeper role.

Borini Deserves Respect

Fabio Borini is always criticised but no one can deny he has one of the best work ethics of any Milan player. He played well for his standards but his work rate is what made him stand out, he tracked back, he raced forward, he took on shots and put in crosses. Borini did not stop running all game and was rewarded with his first Serie A goal of the season. Borini had almost all of Milan’s chances on goal and kept the pressure going from arounf end and deserves recognition for that. Patrick Cutrone also receives a shoutout for his fantastic vision to assist Suso’s goal to kill off the game.

As a concluding remark before the upcoming set of games aginst Napoli, I just want to note that Gennaro Gattuso seems to be teaching the squad how to evolve and play to their strengths. Suso scored a stunner with his right foot, Cutrone is holding the ball and not losing possession, Bakayoko is defending like a star, Donnarumma is more composed and passing well and Alessio Romagnoli has become a leader. The team - despite the results - looksbetter than before and seem to be improving in temperament and skill. Gattuso deserves some credit for this.

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