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Tactical Review of Milan's Poor Performance in 1-1 draw with Udinese

Milan dropped points for the third game in a row against Udinese. A sad draw leaves Milan in a tight spot barely clinging on to a UCL spot. Here’s a review of the game:

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

AC Milan dropped points for the third game in a row against Udinese. A sad draw leaves Milan in a tight spot barely clinging on to a UCL spot. Here's a review of the game:

Entire Defence Falls Asleep

Let’s get the shock out of the way. Milan were caught napping, the entire defence was too focused on Piatek almost scoring that they barely realised the impending threat of a supercharged Udinese on the counter. Ignazio Abate and Diego Laxalt are particularly culpable for this goal as they should be covering any potential runs Mateo Musacchio and Alessio Romagnoli tend to engage in the box during corners. It is quite shocking how no one caught the run or conceded a foul to limit the attack, Lucas Biglia was caught out and the entire defence was flat footed. Shame to see another clean sheet thrown away following to strong start to 2019 defensively. Milan need a refresher course in basic positioning and need to wake up.

Biglia Struggling to Distribute Forward

Biglia has been nerve-racking since his return. He is definitely not working out alongside Tiémoué Bakayoko as discussed previously, Biglia-Bakayoko are not a dynamic partnership and have little to no chemistry. Biglia playing in the centre of the park is taking away from Bakayoko’s great run of form and Kessie is the perfect match as he plays the mezz’alla role for both Biglia and Bakayoko. The choice going forward should be Biglia-Kessie or Bakayoko-Kessie. The worst aspect of Biglia’s game has been the constant conscious effort to pass the ball back and not try to work creatively with a sense of urgency. Bakayoko had begun to deliver great vertical passes in February and Biglia’s return to regista has hampered this.

Plague of Injuries Again

The game of Udinese was a first half nightmare as Donnarumma went down within the first ten minutes of the game. Thereafter Paqueta was grounded in a ugly tackle where the replays showed his ankle twisting in an awkward landing. When he asked to be substituted, the outlook for most fans was an extended period out for the Brazilian. Both players seem to be out for the crunch clash with Juventus this weekend. Milan are once again facing a plague of injuries that could threaten the squad’s balance and quality at a critical time. This has highlighted the need for depth again as the next few weeks seem much harder without Paqueta.

Cutrone and Piatek Playing Off Each Other

Patrick Cutrone was arguably the MOTM for Milan against Udinese. He was tireless and constantly looking to make something happen. He played fantastically to open up space for Krzysztof Piatek, he was humble and took on the CF role allowing Piatek to play as a ST and find the net. Cutrone’s cross led to Piatek’s goal that opened up Milan to the fixture. Cutrone almost got one of his own early on when he chested a long ball and almost got a strong connection on the bounce. The pair played well together as it was harder to mark both of them and they linked up relatively well. This would be an interesting way forward as they might be the creative force that Milan needs as the wingers continue to under perform.

Milan Bow to Pressure

For the third week in a row, Milan have shown that they are not ready to take charge of their assault on the Champions League spots. Milan have not handled the pressure of a Top 4 spot well, in fact we have been abysmal. Milan have only picked up 1 out of 9 points possible points since taking on Inter in the derby and for the 3rd spot. Milan seem to be choking with 8 games left to play in the League and there is fierce competition for the UCL spots with Lazio, AS Roma, Atalanta and Torino in contention. Milan have been lucky as most teams have had similar dips in form but Milan needs a winning streak ASAP.

Let's hope for a MASSIVE reaction from the team this weekend with an unbelievable win against Juventus to propel Milan to a strong finish. I am hoping for a 1-0 win with a Cutrone tap-in.

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