AC Milan survived a game where AS Roma needed a huge response following their humiliating exit from the Coppa Italia. Milan stole a point from a game that we played on the back foot. Here’s a review of what went down:
Gigio Saved The Point
Donnarumma has been in exceptional form recently and I have not tired of featuring him in this column. Unfortunately he missed out on a clean sheet against Roma but that was hardly his fault. He has grown in confidence over the winter break and it has shown on the pitch. He made some unbelievable saves keeping Florenzi, Dzeko and Zaniolo at bay but most impressive was his desire to maintain his clean sheet that saw him wipe out Alessio Romagnoli to make a save. He saved Milan in a game where we allowed Roma too much time on the ball and too many chances to take a shot on goal.
Krzysztof Piatek scored again. What a fantastic start for the Polish youngster to continue his breakthrough season at Milan. Moreover his goals have come in big games against Napoli and Roma. He has a tough game against Roma as he was starved for service but showed his skill in his opportunistic nature where he opened up lots of space to give options and found the net from an unlikely situation for the opening goal. Another great observation was the promising link up between Lucas Paqueta and Piatek that could be a key partnership for Milan for the rest of the season, the two have been able to build up counters well but need some time to properly tap into each others’ flow.
Some people’s LBs would panic and concede a corner, not mine pic.twitter.com/HeXEio36WH— Para (@Paracelsus) February 3, 2019
Rodriguez with a Classy Performance
Ricarco Rodriguez has been quietly playing a stunningly consistent role in the defence all season but there have been a few games where he truly stood out and this was one of them. Rodriguez defended with class and was reminiscent of a more stable time in Milan’s backline when the LB was dependable. He managed the runs of Schick into the box and always boxed out Karsdorp from threatening areas. Most importantly Rodriguez seemed eerily calm and composed throughout the game even when his back was against the wall making some truly critical clearances and blocking a couple of dangerous shots. He looks more dependable than ever and that is what Milan need right now.
Musacchio is Mistake-prone
Earlier this week I spoke about the developing partnership between Mateo Musacchio and Romagnoli as its importance for Milan’s defensive record going forward. The defense did play well and make some incredible tackles and blocks to keep Roma at bay but a bad memory from the first half of the season lingered. Musacchio’s is prone to silly mistakes and lapses in concentration. Although this may be a little tough on him but he has on multiple occasions slipped up directly leading to a goal just like his awkward knock on that could’ve been an own goal but instead set up Zaniolo’s equaliser. He has been a good partner for Romagnoli but if he can limit his mistakes he could seriously challenge Caldara for the spot.
Milan still Lack Creativity
The one major flaw in Milan’s performance at the Stadio Olimpico was the gap in creativity especially amongst the wingers. Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu seemed to be out of ideas and constantly smashing in poor crosses or slamming into a defender hence leaving Piatek stranded. Suso is perhaps guiltier in this regard as he barely made an impact in the game and given his speed and dribbling skills should make more use of the right wing than he has in recent games. Calhanoglu for all his flaws in recent months still manages to create one or two dangerous looking chances per game despite the average performance for the rest of the game The work rate of both players has been decent when they track back and hold possession but the creation of chances is lacking and needs to be fixed.
This wasn’t awarded a penalty. Referee didn’t even use the VAR check pic.twitter.com/q6M59U6sVv— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) February 3, 2019
Why is VAR not Consulted?
I don’t want to be ‘that’ guy but why was there no VAR review. This is absurd and the referees should know better. In any potential penalty situation, thee should at least be a consultation. Shame on the refs and let’s hope for better next time.
Are Paqueta and Piatek sufficient signings to challenge for the UCL spot and the Coppa?
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Too early to tell