Was a it a handball by Kessie? It definitely looks suspicious. His arm moves like it did hit, but the replay seems to suggest it came off his chest. pic.twitter.com/YkKwzIPBSI— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) December 15, 2019
Just Bad Luck
The game between Milan and Sassuolo was just a case of bad luck for the Rossoneri. Milan did almost everything right but somehow didn’t score. There has been a lot of criticism around the game but I feel it’s unwarranted because in football, sometimes these games happen. Pegolo seemed to be untouchable and he kept his goal sparkling clean saving every single shot. The most unfortunate incident was the VAR call against Franck Kessie when Theo Hernandez has scored the opener, it’s quite clear there was no handball but from the angle viewed at the time it seemed like a foul. This demonstrates the continued subjectivity in VAR but Milan should have taken all three points nonetheless.
Bennacer Growing But Still Raw
Having the composure in front of goal is something that comes with experience and clearly Milan’s squad lack it currently. The case of Bennacer and the terrible miss against Sassuolo just has to do with the lack of composure and experience on the squad, the Algeria international needed to be calm and instead he rushed his shot and didn’t take time to check to the opposition tracking back. Despite the miss, Bennacer put in a great showing keeping Sassuolo almost entirely impotent ahead of goal whilst supporting Milan’s attack immensely. Bennacer is growing in influence for Milan but needs more time to become a true dominant force.
Leao Has The Talent
Oh My God, I literally punched the wall both times Leao hit the post against Sassuolo because I can feel how badly he needs to score to regain his confidence. The Portugal youth international has so much talent and is technically gifted but needs less pressure on him to truly succeed just as he did with Lille. Both times he hit the goalpost against Sassuolo he had taken a moment to focus before firing off the shot as opposed to the ridiculous blasts of Kessie and Calhanoglu. Both times he was an inch away from a beauty but I believe he did enough to warrant another crack at the starting line up.
All the stats from today's draw against Sassuolo...— MilanData (@acmilandata) December 15, 2019
How did we not win this one? pic.twitter.com/mx1VG9yVK9
Another Edition Of All Sizzle, No Steak
17 Shots and 12 On Target but no goals. Milan suffered against Sassuolo but also did not do themselves any favours for the dominance they enjoyed throughout the game. This game demonstrated the need to game changers and game winners at the club. Piatek has truly fallen from grace in such a short span of time and Milan is forced to rely on the likes of Suso and Calhanoglu who are honestly mediocre inconsistent players who are capable of stunning feats once in a while but are largely average. The club needs to invest more wisely on players who can handle responsibility and have the perseverance to win.
️ Stefano Pioli— TeamMilanAC (@TeamMilanAC) December 15, 2019
"We had 9-10 great chances, we tried everything but the ball didn't want to cross the line. Leao? He was great coming off the bench. Sassuolo? They are a good team, we knew that it wasn't going to be easy. We have to be more clinical." pic.twitter.com/2m5duowok8
Stefano Pioli Management Is Positive
My biggest takeaway from the Sassuolo game is that Pioli has definitely improved the team and the atmosphere in the locker room. The style of play seems to flow and the attack is present but will take time to fully come to fruition. The team clearly did not connect with Giampaolo given the poor play and terrible attitude under his short tenure. More importantly, Pioli seems to make logical substitutions that are impactful to the run of play which is where Gattuso struggled. Pioli still has a long way to go to deliver as highly as Gattuso did but he clearly knows his in game management well as displayed by Milan’s good tactic changes and the quick impact of substitutions.