AC Milan scraped up three points on the road at the Bentegodi thanks to a Piatek penalty but lost Calabria to a late sending off. Here's a review of the game:
Giampaolo’s Possesion Play: All Sizzle, No Steak
Milan bagged 67% of the possession against Hellas Verona yet there were no real threatening chances in the game. Quite frustratingly, Calabria had perhaps the best chance when he volleyed a loose ball from outside the box and it rocked the post. Milan had fallen victim to getting too comfortable in possession without achieving much. The horizontal passing was very hard to watch as the centre-backs were the backbone of the team as opposed to the regista. Biglia was perhaps the worst as he could never play a forward pass and often was sloppy. The possession game only works if Milan can figure out how to use ground passes to open space up otherwise it will be useless against quality teams.
Poor Midfield Choices and (Lack of) Substitutions
Giampaolo is being stubborn over the team sheet and it is hurting Milan’s performances. Bennacer was left on the bench for Biglia and as a result the midfield was slow and out of ideas. Biglia looked lethargic all game and had little impact on the game yet played the whole 90 minutes. Calhanoglu struggled all game and kept slipping for some reason however at halftime Giampaolo chose to bench Paqueta instead of letting him slip back into a midfield role. Calhanoglu was decisive for a second week in a row as his attempt on goal won us a penalty however you cannot forget his abysmal performance outside of his moment of magic. Milan should have used their substitutions to take of the midfielders who bogged down the game.
Piatek Opens His Account
Our star striker has been on a bit of a drought and I was happy to see him take the penalty over our usual penalty specialist Kessie. Piatek took a sleek penalty into the bottom left corner to get his scoring account started for the season in week 3. Piatek has struggled under Giampaolo thus far, the supply of balls into the box has been minimal and the Pole has been very much isolated in attack despite the 4-3-2-1 and 4-3-1-2 formations. It doesn’t help that Piatek first touch has been terrible making it harder for him to bring balls into his path and do anything when he receive passes from deep. Improvement is needed from the striker and from his support if he is hoping to snag over 20 goals this season.
95 - Alessio #Romagnoli has completed 95 passes against Verona, his record in a single Serie A match (his previous record was 92, against Udinese in MD1 current season). Fulcrum.#VeronaMilan pic.twitter.com/7JHTZpFiz1— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 15, 2019
Our Centre-Backs Look Solid
Milan nicked their second clean sheet of the season - albeit against newly promoted sides - but the defense now has the best record in Italy in 2019. Romagnoli and Musacchio have grown in confidence and have improved their passing considerably. Romagnoli in particular has been playing an importnat role gettting the ball moving and supporting the midfield with his passes. Musacchio has been great defensively and has been a spark for driving the team forward given the passivity of Biglia. The defensive duo dealt with the Verona attacks quite well and the more worrying piece of the defence is Rodriguez as he seems to have lost his pace and his decision making has been questionable. Overall, I feel like the defence will determine whether we can take anything away from the derby next week.
#ACMilan have not won the first game back after an international break for almost three years (16 October 2016, 3-1 at Chievo.— MilanData (@acmilandata) September 12, 2019
The 10-match run includes six defeats and four draws.
[Via @CorSport] pic.twitter.com/fE6ZnnXolm
We Broke the International Break Curse
Finally Milan have won a game after international break. Giampaolo’s tactics have been ugly but Milan have 2 wins in 3 games and have 2 clean sheets in the bag. The opponents we have faced would suggest that Milan should have comfortably won but Milan fans know better than to expect Milan to win easy games. I just hope Giampaolo’s luck does not run out before his style kicks in, we all saw the amazing performances Sampdoria put in last season, we need to believe that we will see similar in about 5-7 games. Until then, let’s hope Milan rack up more ugly wins and keep those clean sheets.
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