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Tactical Review of Milan's 3-1 Comeback Victory Away at Atalanta

Milan came back to beat Atalanta on the road thanks to a brilliant brace from Piatek and a screamer from Calhanoglu. Here’s the game review:

Atalanta BC v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

AC Milan came back to beat Atalanta on the road thanks to a brilliant brace from Piatek and a screamer from Calhanoglu. Here's the game review:

Piatek alle po po po po pop

Honestly, what a player. Piatek scored his second brace in a Milan shirt against Atalanta and both goals were stunners. His movement to beat his marker on the first goal was phenomenal and demonstrated his eagerness to find the back of the net. His second goal provided Milan much needed respite from a lack of goals from set pieces, Piatek found Calhanoglu’s cross and headed it in to give Milan a comfortable lead in the game. He is demonstrating true talent and desire that Milan have missed from their striker and most importantly is that he has shown up in big games. He scored against Napoli at home and then netted in Rome and Bergamo. Piatek’s first goal salvaged the game for Milan and without his clinical finishing, we could not have won the game.

Hakan Gets Some Relief

He needed that goal. Calhanoglu has had a rough season but he has always put in the work even though the outcome was not fruitful. He scored a screamer and he deserved it. He is slowly regaining his confidence, both Calhanoglu and Suso have been contributing more defensively than offensively recently but this game could be a spark for the Turkey international. He got on the score sheet for the first time since May 2018 in the Serie A. Moreover, he put in a great cross from the corner to set up Piatek’s second goal and one of the few Milan goals from set pieces this season. This was an important game to score in and the confidence could really help him rediscover his form.

Dynamism in the Midfield

With every passing game there is a notable change in the direction of the midfield and there is a growing dynamism. Milan struggled to keep up in the first half as they were chasing the ball constantly but the movement off the ball was great and the closing down of play was effective. The interesting aspect was the interplay and switching of positions between Kessie and Bakayoko to release each other into the attack. In the second half, Kessie and Paqueta switched wings as well as engaged Bakayoko to drive up the pitch allowing for more threats going forward. Kessie in particular has been joining the attacks much more and is opening up space well and pulling defenders of Piatek, all that is missing is the finishing on his part. The new dynamic look is giving Milan more options going forward and a stronger defensive cover.

Atalanta Made Us Struggle

Milan were chasing the game for 60 minutes. The first half was a struggle and you could visibly see the impact of Bergamo on the players as it seemed we could not string a couple of passes together. We got caught out on the first goal and were forced to run and follow the ball for the rest of the first half. The first Milan goal was against the run of play and that was our silver bullet. The midfielders covered in excess of 34km over the game and had to keep their pace up to keep Atalanta at bay. This game demonstrated the improvement on stamina and speed from Milan’s perspective as the counters were quick despite all the pressure. This was a tough game and an incredibly physical one but we prevailed.

Atalanta BC v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Gattuso Shows his Dependability

In my opinion, the biggest winner and the true gamechanger for Milan is Gattuso. He has faced a lot of adversity of his tenure at Milan but he has made the best of his situation and is pushing Milan to heights that were unattainable just a few years ago. Gattuso’s in-game management is improving now that he has the right players, his substitutions are more sensible and most importantly his tactics are getting results. His deployment of Kessie as a LW during counter-attacks against Atalanta is one of the reasons Piatek got a 1v1 for his first goal as the back three were pulled in marking other players. Small changes like this are ensuring that every game Milan have an edge that is getting us victories. Gattuso is dependable and he deserves respect for his achievements thus far.


Considering Piatek's Form, Should Gattuso Start Cutrone Against Smaller Teams?

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