AC Milan convincingly beat SPAL 3-0 in the Coppa Italia as Stefano Pioli rotated the squad. Here's a review of the game
GOOOAALLLLL! CASTILLEJO WITH A CURLER! pic.twitter.com/a0h43jERB9— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) January 15, 2020
Castillejo Comes Through
Two games, a goal and an assist. Samu Castillejo is taking the team by storm and he is shelving any fond memories of Suso lingering from 2017. The midfielder works non stop and this benefits the team greatly both on the counter attack and when in the defensive phase. Castillejo managed to set up a few good crosses and ran right at the defence to threaten SPAL. His best moment in the game was undoubtedly his brilliant composure and skill to brilliantly curl the ball into the top left corner over a defender and the goalkeeper for the seond goal of the game. These skills will likely keep Suso on the bench and the transfer list.
Rebic couldve got 2 assist, maybe he just needs game time just like Bakayoko last season. Piatek really should've got 2 goals there. pic.twitter.com/HOyHKSgPib— AC Forza Milan/News (@ACForzaMilano) January 15, 2020
Rebic Has The Raw Talent But Lacks The Polish
Rebic was equally impressive and disappointing against SPAL. He made darting runs forward and easily beat defenders but lacked the final touch. He could have scored on at least two occasions but shot wide and seemed to lack the confidence to bury the ball in the back of the net. His passing was good as he managed to set up a few key passes to open up space for his teammates. It might be the bench weighing him down as he has not featured nearly enough for his SPAL display to reflect his abilities but he has made a case to at least be the first man off the bench.
Defenders Show Their Strengths
Against SPAL, three out of the four defenders were impressive whilst the latter was bang average. Kjaer made a great debut start and demonstrated the advantages he brings to the side especially with his aerial dominance and defensive covering. Romagnoli looked more comfortable and as a result roamed forward more and passed the ball kore creatively alongside his usual tough tackling and smart positioning. Hernandez did not allow Piatek to go top scorer alone as he banged in a stunner in the second half and playing a conservative first half. He showed his ability to defend well and contribute in attack when necessary. Conti made too many mistakes and struggled to make an impact.
Antonio the GOAT
Somehow the other Donnarumma brother got himself into the Milan record books with his third clean sheet in his third game for Milan. The keeper has now not conceded in 300 minutes of football setting up a new club record. To his credit, this is not undeserved. He made acrobatic saves against Inter Milan on his debut helping Milan qualify in the Cup as we went to the final and even against SPAL he was called upon to make an important save to keep his clean sheet intact. Good to know that he can be counted on if and when the time comes.
A Tale of Two Halves For Piatek
Overall the game was a huge positive for the Polish striker as he managed to finally score a goal from open play and he set up a fantastic goal for Catillejo by remaining calm and evaluating his options well. Piatek looked like the player we bought from Genoa in the first half, he was lively, made good runs and held up the ball. He did well to spot Bennacer’s pass whilst dodging the offside trap for the first goal as he calmly slotted past Berisha. In the second half, he lost his way and looked like the player we have come to despise this season. Seems to be a mental block but if he can overcome it, he can definitely stay and eventually take back over from Zlatan.