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11 Things: Ugh, Milan vs Inter 2-0

I will be writing about digging a hole and hiding in it later in this article.

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1: The Lineup Decisions Today Were Bad

Every week I praise Bennacer and want Paqueta to start in midfield. I will not rest until these two things happen.

Biglia and Hakan were poor for very long stretches of the game. There were many situations where Biglia was challenged for the ball and weakly lost possession. He did not help recycle attacks well and did not track particularly well in defense. Giampaolo’s system needs a dominant passing midfielder, there is a reason why Praet was bought, and Biglia has not proved to be that so far. Biglia struggled to make decisive passes or progress the ball well.

Hakan is a substitute level player at this juncture. He is chaotic in terms of ability to build up. He occasionally can make passes that help progress the ball. However, if play slows and defensive lines get recreated then there is no progressive passing from Hakan. This was an issue he had at Leverkusen, and it has not been remedied by any coach. That list includes Roger Schmidt, if you do not know a lot about him you should look him up and see all the interesting tactical wrinkles he has created. Hakan could be a fine trequarista, but there is not really evidence of this over his time at Milan.

2: What’s Frustrating Krzysztof Piatek

There has been a consistent thought that Piatek has been poor and he is at fault. Now some issues lie with his lack of ability in the buildup. However, the larger issue is the general lack of support he is receiving. Part of the issue is that Piatek has not received reliable passing into either his pass or the box. He did, however, play well as a pressing player. He was able to generate steals and create counterattacks. There is dirty work that a striker needs to do, that he has been doing. The issue that is happening that the team has only generated over one expected goal in any of its games so far. That is a passing issue and comes from deeper in the formation.

3: Rough Day for the System and Conti

So, the team did not give up a ton of expected goals, 1.6 is still not good, but the general organization was bad. This is an issue that stems from a small tactical issue, a Conti issue, a Rodriguez issue, and a Biglia issue. Giampaolo never wants both backs to go up the field, and typically the right-back is the one that tracks forward. The issue with this is that Conti was not able to cover the distance. Calabria has been able to for the most part, but this problem comes from a tactical thing Giampaolo does. Conti was always going to be a defensive liability from the beginning of the game, but these issues were exacerbated throughout the game. Giampaolo may need adjust if Calabria misses long periods of time.

4: Defensive Organization Became an Issue

The more worrying issue was how poor Romagnoli and Mussachio organized with the midfield. While both made very impressive solo plays, there was an issue of coverage of late players. The second line of attackers is typically controlled by the midfielders, but in many situations, Kessie would be the only player tracking. Hakan did not go into the defensive box much and struggled with late players. Biglia was poor. The two center-backs will need to organize better in the future. If midfield players do not provide support, then more chances will be generated, especially deeper in the box.

5: Rafael Leao is Really Good

He made some impressive runs and had skills for days. What he was able to do against D’Ambrosio was very impressive, and he created a strong chance. His run on the chance that Suso selfishly took was smart because he keeps himself wide and then narrows late on in his movement. An issue on some counters of that nature is that all the attacking players can collapse on the defense. If this happens then the defense does not need to work harder on coverage. Leao stayed wide, made D’Ambrosio make a marking selection, and gave Leao a lot of space.

He did tire towards the end of the game, but he shined in his first start and should see more time.

6: Suso Had a Strange Day

Suso was very creative in the build-up and did help progress the ball. Offensively, he had an issue with pass before a shot or shooting itself. His progression in build up in this formation is good and important. Hopefully, he will add in his ability in the last pass or last decision. This will generate more goals.

Pay attention to Leao too. His movement really opens up a lot of space for himself.

7: The Goals

The own goal is terrible luck and a crazy bounce. Sometimes this happens and it is very unfortunate. This happens sometimes, hopefully, the team can rebound from this like this in the future.

The second goal comes from an issue of Conti not being able to track enough to cover D’Ambrosio. The next issue comes from Romagnoli and Mussachio letting Lukaku drift in between the two. Romagnoli then is not strong enough on Lukaku to prevent the goal. That was the exact issues that arose from the tactics that Giampaolo is using, and the lack of organization the full backline was experiencing.

8: The Substitutes

Paqueta should have started, and he played well in his first 5 minutes. Slowly, he became less crucial to the team to build up. That is an issue of the team becoming frustrated, some of it will also be from Inter collapsing their lines more towards the end of the game. There was not a lot to note about this performance, it seemed frustrated.

Theo Hernandez was fantastic in his debut and created a chance by himself. There was not a lot to bring up defensively, but his offensive movement was fantastic. Hopefully, he will see more time. He is a much different player than Rodriguez, but he can still be good.

Rebic did not play enough for a real reaction of him to be made. I hope he had a Happy Birthday.

9: The Players Who Did Not Play


Biglia is not good enough to start games of this nature. There is no real way that Biglia will give enough to the first eleven in major games. Hopefully, Bennacer will start against Thursday.

Bonaventura would have been a good substitution during the game. He could have come in for Hakan and provide a mezzala style player. He would have been a good choice to come in and is better with build-up and penetrating the box.

This did not happen today, but Bonaventura is perfect.

10: How to Dig a Hole

So, you need to get a good shovel and make sure that you solidify the edges of the hole. If you do not do this then the hole will collapse. Preferably, the goal of the ditch is to watch Milan. Do it in the silence and by yourself. This is how Milan should be watched.

11: Overall Thoughts

Bennacer and Paqueta need to start. Leao and Rebic should platoon at the left forward or left-wing location.

The issue is that the same problems that have existed during every other game during the season. The lack of midfield control and gaps being created near the backline helped generate more space for opposition attackers. This was the exact issue that was going to manifest against better teams. Milan needs to play more of the kids.

I also want to say thank you to @paracelsus. His constant creation of GIFs has been very important and helps show what has happened over the flow of the game. Please follow him on Twitter.