Samu Castillejo vs. Empoli:— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) February 22, 2019
4 shots on goal
2 successful take-ons
2 chances created
3 aerial duels won
85% passing accuracy
Castillejo Capitalises on His Start
Despite my criticisms of Samu Castillejo in the first half of the season, he really did put in a MOTM performance against Empoli. He seemed to struggle with the physicality of the tie in the first half but burst through in the second half delivering a nuanced pass to assist Franck Kessie’s goal and then scored from a tight angle after continuing his run deep at the near post. Castillejo’s good performance comes at a time when Suso is experiencing a dip in form as he has struggled to register assists or goals since his stunning form at the start of the season. This performance could mean more play time for Castillejo especially against the minnows considering we have the Coppa games coming up.
KESSIE WITH THE CHEEKY CHIP pic.twitter.com/2HnPwhrkTj— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) February 22, 2019
Return of the Kessie Salute
I knew realised how much I missed that salute until I saw it on Friday night. Franck Kessie finally got back onto the scoring sheet following a myriad of missed chances over the past few months. Kessie scored a cheeky chip after following up on a nice through ball from Castillejo. He kept his composure and finally didn’t just smash the ball at the keeper and pulled off a great finish. He has been growing and is now playing a vital attacking role for Milan where he creates an extra option up front, he is drawing defenders off Piatek and he is providing support to the RB and RW to give them space to put the ball in the box. Kessie is resurgent and Milan will benefit as a result.
Fantastic goal from Borini. Insane dribble. pic.twitter.com/AdaydW4aVE— Para (@Paracelsus) February 22, 2019
Borini is the True War Dog
Fabio Borini, despite his shortcomings, is the embodiment of the Milan spirit. He is humble, he plays for the team and he has the passion. He has played in every conceivable position since joining last season and has always celebrated the time he received and made the minutes count. He is always the recipient of harsh criticism from the fans but in all honesty Borini is a player who has and will win us key points against small teams where we tend fall short. Borini deserved that goal but VAR viciously stripped it away, we hope to see more like this to demonstrate that Milan has dangerous and experienced talent coming off the bench.
Defence is Holding Up
Empoli only managed a single shot on goal. Atalanta got three. Cagliari got three. In Milan’s last 10 Serie A games they have kept 6 clean sheets against conceded 4 goals. The defence has been phenomenal and have played an incredible role in ensuring the took maximal points from January and February. Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio have been stellar and have done well to limit the work Gigio has to do. The greater strength is that Milan finally have options at RB and a solid LB, last week Davide Calabria put in unbelievable performances and Andrea Conti has done similarly now. Gennaro Gattuso is in a good situation where he has some dependability in his back line as well as in Gigio and this is doing wonders for the confidence and performance of the squad.
Castillejo adds to the lead, Conti assist! pic.twitter.com/AjLE0UMPxE— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) February 22, 2019
Andrea Conti Makes His First Start
544 days. That was the last time Conti had started a game in red and black colours. He was one of the key acquisitions by Fassone and Mirabelli but was sidelined for over a year with a knee injury. He is one of the most exciting prospects as a wingback in the Serie A after his incredible showing with Atalanta in 2016/17 where he netted 8 times and assisted 5 times. This season he has got himself 2 assists in the league and 1 in the Coppa despite starting only once and coming off the bench six times. He looks refreshed and hungry to create and will be a key player for Milan going forward as he provides a better offensive outlet than Calabria despite the latter being a stronger defender.
Which Would be the Best Partnership on the Right Wing?
This poll is closed
Calabria - Suso
Conti - Castillejo
Calabria - Castillejo
Conti - Suso