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Tactical Review of Milan's Sad 1-0 Bow Out of the Coppa Italia against Lazio

Milan threw away a concrete opportunity to lift a significant trophy for the first time since the 2010/11 Scudetto in a bleak performance at home against Lazio. Milan lost 1-0 while putting on a boring, careless and lazy performance. Here’s the game review:

AC Milan v SS Lazio - TIM Cup Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

First of all, I apologise for the delay with the article but I could not bear to write this on Wednesday as it would have been a rant and nothing more. AC Milan threw away a concrete opportunity to lift a significant trophy for the first time since the 2010/11 Scudetto in a bleak performance at home against Lazio. Milan lost 1-0 while putting on a boring, careless and lazy performance. Here’s the game review:

Milan are Unbelievably Vulnerable from Our Own Corners

It’s crazy to think how vulnerable Milan look when we win corners. For a normal team when you win a corner you would probably score, but in Milan’s case this season, winning a corner will most likely lead to us conceding a goal - as has occurred multiple times in 2019 alone. The tactics of our corners are baffling, all CBs were in the box despite us playing a back three. Only two players stayed back but they were too far back creating running space between Lazio’s box and the halfway line. Lastly, Franck Kessie completely bobbled defensively by not sticking to Joaquín Correa and giving him room. What a ridiculous goal to concede quite similar to Udinese’s equaliser a few weeks prior. The team must work on this or it will happen again.

I Pity Piatek

Krzysztof Piatek barely touches the ball any more. Since Lucas Paqueta’s injury Piatek has been anonymous and has not been brought into the game by our attackers. In the first half against Lazio, he made four touches and none of them were in the box, not to mention most of his touches came from trying to bring down hard passes or idealistic through balls. Barely any of the passes Piatek receives are normal passes or good through balls. Every time he seems to be on the receiving end, it is because someone in the midfield or the wingers are succumbing to pressure and just offloading a heavy pass. I’d like to reiterate again, he could’ve been Capocannoniere in the league and could’ve added to his Coppa tally but is struggling at Milan just like Carlos Bacca, Andre Silva, Patrick Cutrone and Gonzalo Higuain have all done.

Milan Missed an Opportunity to Show Our Identity

This was built up to be an intense showdown. The Acerbi-Bakayoko drama, the Racist Chants, the Mussolini Banner and the race for the Champions League spot. Even the Curva Sud added to the atmosphere putting up a tifo reading ‘Vinci per noi’ (Win for us). This game had a lot riding on it and it was a huge opportunity for Milan to demonstrate its strength and identity as a club - but the team went in with the wrong mentality. Milan’s performance was lethargic and the team played on the back foot all game. Milan had an opportunity to get to a Coppa final where there was a good chance at grabbing a trophy but Gennaro Gattuso chose to play defensively. Milan seems to lack ferocity and confidence especially when it comes down to sealing the deal, this season we blew it at Olympiacos, we blew leads against Napoli and Juventus and now we blew a chance at a trophy.

Gattuso Showed Fear with the Line-Up

The formation that excited many of us prior to the game was a hoax. The 3-4-2-1 would’ve worked great if Gattuso ran with an offensive approach of Calabria and Laxalt blasting down the wings and crossing to three players in the box. But the formation was used ultra-defensively where the wide midfielders played like wingbacks only supplying short passes to the wide forward, hence, Gattuso essentially ran with a 5-2-3. Moreover, I cannot comprehend why Caldara got the nod in such a key game when Rodriguez plays as a CB and has creative ability. The game plan seems to have been to ride out a 0-0 draw and risk it out with penalties - a ridiculously negative approach. Most significantly, was the odd choice not to introduce Paqueta when it was clear that he was the only player off the bench who could have impacted the game. Let’s hope for more proactive tactics in the final few games.

Suso is a Luxury (That we don't need)

Suso is a huge point of disagreement amongst Milan fans on whether or not he should be a part of the plan going forward. After this season, I vote NO. Suso is a magnificent player who has been integral to Milan qualifying for the Europa League twice but he is more of a luxury player who is better suited to a team that has superstars. He does not help us more than he hurts us as he cannot carry the team nor can he perform and play a key role consistently. That’s the sad truth. He is unbelivable when he’s breaking SMS’s legs and scored screamers or trying his best Robben impression but Milan need someone who can work tirelessly to create options for the strikers and to bring others into the attack. He has served us well, but I believe both parties deserve something else in the future.

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