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Tactical Review of Milan's Fall from Grace against Sampdoria with a 1-0 Loss

Milan dropped valuable points on the road against Sampdoria losing their cushion at 4th place. Here’s a review of the uninspired performance:

UC Sampdoria v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

AC Milan dropped valuable points on the road against Sampdoria losing their cushion at 4th place. Here's a review of the uninspired performance:

Nightmare Error for Gigio

Gigio Donnarumma had a nightmarish start to the game in Genoa as he made an unlikely error after being pressured leading to Defrel’s goal. The goal turned out to be fatal for Milan as we could not overcome the early deficit as the Rossoneri had not conceded that early in the game for over fifteen years. Gigio performed well thereafter but the cheap goal leads us to question why Gennaro Gattuso insists on playing out of the back against high pressing teams such as Sampdoria. The pressure makes it tough for the young keeper to make decisions and in this case, it was a silly mistake that cost us the game and the three points.

Biglia-Bakayoko Miss Kessie

Gattuso started a midfield trio of Bakayoko-Biglia-Calhanoglu that was disastrous. The midfield had an awful imbalance as there was a simultaneous lack of defending and attacking quality in the middle of the park. Lucas Biglia has been mixed in his performances since his return with a spectacular goal but average performances as the regista. He has displaced Bakayoko as well resulting in the Frenchman being less effective on the pitch where he was thriving. Despite the warranted disciplinary action against Kessie, every game he sits out has been a game where Milan struggle to manage the game in the midfield as they lack a mezz’alla. Kessie may not be polished but he brings tenacity to the pitch and is a driving force for Milan.

Milan Lacking Attacking Output

Milan struggled to make anything happened up front against Sampdoria as the attack looked limp and the creative spark was lacking. Suso put on an uncharacteristically strong display given his average performances over the past months but still could not create enough to force a goal or bring Krzysztof Piatek into the game. Hakan Calhanoglu and Samu Castillejo were indecisive and lacked accuracy with their crosses and shots during the game. Milan barely got shots on target that were dangerous and Piatek looked isolated all game long. Moreover Milan spent too much time circling the box and passing back as opposed to actually putting the ball into a promising area.

Milan Struggle to Handle Pressure

Milan have lost two games in a row for the first time since December 2017. Milan just got into a UCL spot for the first time in years and had an opportunity to cement this while heading into the final lap of the season, but Milan blew it. We lost to Inter Milan and now lost to Sampdoria. We could have cemented the 3rd spot with two points out of the possible six going into the Udinese game but the pressure was not handled well by the Milan players. There is a need for experience and leadership in the squad that has been missing since the 2011/12 season. We need some experienced players who can guide the younger players to lock down key games such as this.

UC Sampdoria v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Piatek Looks Helpless

Piatek suffered against Sampdoria and the signs have been coming for the past few games. Similarly to Lazio and Inter, there was minimal service and he has struggled against strong CBs as his pace is being subsided by their physical dominance over him by closing down the space before he can burst out and run. Piatek is starting to look similar to other failed Strikers over the past few seasons such as Higuain, Silva and Bacca who have the skill but cannot score as they do not receive consistent service to give them ripe opportunities. This is one of the biggest areas that needs to be fixed as Piatek is clinical and needs good service or his talent will go to waste.


Should Gattuso Play Piatek and Cutrone together?

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  • 77%
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