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Tactical Review of Milan's Tight Draw with Napoli at Home

Milan won a critical point against Napoli performing up to par for the first time in a while. Here’s our review of the game:

AC Milan v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Milan won a critical point against Napoli performing up to par for the first time in a while. Here's our review of the game:

The Youth Project is Shaping Up

AC Milan fielded one of it’s youngest squads against Napoli yesterday and by far one of the most coherent in recent history. This game was the only one against Napoli where we went toe-to-toe in past 5 or so seasons when Milan were not outplayed and were dangerous. The youth project at Milan is beginning to shape up and the core group now exists and is performing. Milan are growing with each passing game and their major flaw at the moment is inexperience - as expected. If these kinks are worked out, the team will go the distance this season and secure the Champions League spot. The composure in the final third is needed, determination from the counter attack and confidence from the strikers.

Romagnoli is a Rock

Alessio Romagnoli played an incredible 90 minutes, it was an important big game performance from him. Napoli were constantly pestering our box and Romagnoli was always there to marshal Milik and Mertens to keep them bay. He made some key interceptions especially clearing the ball from Koulibaly after a set piece. This was only the second clean sheet kept by the Musacchio-Romagnoli partnership and it was a big one, it should do wonders for their confidence going forward. Romagnoli similarly to Donnarumma seems to be improving his passing and vision significantly as he played in some good balls breaking Napoli’s lines, this can be a key role if he perfects it.

Another Stunning Performance for Gigio

Donnarumma keeps another clean sheet making in 5 in 7 from Serie A for him. He is definitely regaining his form and it is such a huge help to the team. Against Napoli he made a few really good saves but majority of his work was to tidy Napoli array of shots that went straight at him. This should be standard for any quality goalkeeper but what was more important was no slip ups happening. Donnarumma is growing in confidence against as he is more evidently communicating with his backline and is quick to launch Milan on to the counter. Let’s hope the form remains and we can count on Gigio.

Some Threat from Set Pieces

This is a personal observation but Milan looked threatening from corners for the first time this season. Milan have been notoriously lacking in this regard having barely scored 3 goals from corners this entire season and this almost changed when Mateo Musacchio almost scraped one past David Ospina. The observation had to do with the adoption of a new tactic by Milan during the corners where Romangoli almost seemed to act as a pivot redirecting the ball across the box for someone to put into the net. There were two dangerous opportunities that both included some sort of Romagnoli and Musacchio collaboration. With Piatek in the box as well in the coming games, we should be targeting a few goals from set pieces.

Piatek Debut & Cutrone’s Role

This is a complicated point as it was unbelievable to see the potential of Piatek in his short debut, his blistering pace and his staggering strength. He can open up Milan’s attack and give us a new attacking dimension that we have lacked for a long time by combining pace, strength and a hell of a shot. On the other hand, I really want to see the development of Cutrone who is the soul of the squad - in my opinion - and can be insanely promising for the next decade. It’s a tough line to walk but finding a balance between the two young prospects will be a challenge for Gattuso. I envision the solution as how Inzaghi played off other strikers such as Pato in 2008/09, Gilardino in 2007/08 and Shevchenko. Cutrone would adopt a similar role playing in a 2-man attack or as a supersub or on his own, accumulating over 25 games and about 10-15 goals to ensure he keeps developing.

Now, we look forward to the Coppa game against Napoli and hope for a winner! Forza Milan.