AC Milan needed to grind out a win at Brescia at the home side played the game of their life. Rebic came through again but Donnarumma was the star. Here's our review of the game:
Best dribble success rate of players to attempt 30+ in Serie A this season— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 24, 2020
Ismael Bennacer (85.1%)
Sandro Tonali (84.8%)
Two of the top young midfielders in Italy go head-to-head tonight
Brescia vs AC Milan match preview https://t.co/aOMzawJXyi pic.twitter.com/hP5jyr5fam
A Tight Midfield Battle
Milan against Brescia was an incredibly tactical affair. Brescia went into the game with a precise game place to stuff the Milan midfield and stifle any potential release to the attackers. Bennacer, Kessie, Hernandez and Conti were being hounded tirelessly whilst Castillejo and Calhanoglu were being forced out wide to limit their support. The main battle was Tonali vs Bennacer as both registas looked to break the lines with the pinpoint passing. Tonali succeeded whilst Bennacer struggled as he was chasing the ball more than he was creating passes. Tonali is an unbelievable young player, if he played alongside Bennacer next season Milan would truly be a force to reckon with. His passing, intelligence and recovery is unparalleled in the Serie A this season.
Super Sub Rebic
Ante Rebic has been on fire the past two games scoring crucial goals when the starting strikers have struggled to find the back of the net. Rebic adds a dimension of speed and directness that is very hard for the opposition to deal with especially in the latter stages of the game. His forward approach allows him pounce while others get caught off guard in the box. His introduction as a direct replacement for Leao indicates that Rebic is seen to be more useful closer to goal and thus will be important going forward to contribute late. I still prefer to keep him as a super sub rather than a starter as his energy bursts late on are a good ace up our sleeve.
What a goal this would've been by Theo pic.twitter.com/X4h5PzId1E— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) January 24, 2020
Counter Attacking Is Back
Over the past two or three seasons, Milan’s counter attacking has been slow and lethargic. Suso and Calhanoglu have been quite poor in attempting to break away and turnover the play. This past season the acquisition of Theo Hernandez has completely shifted this and now Milan can be terrifying on the counter as Theo himself is often capable of carrying the ball from Milan’s box all the way to the opposition goal. His rattling of the crossbar against Brescia was evidence of this. Bennacer has also been crucial in picking out the right passes to launch players forward while the likes of Rebic, Leao and Ibrahimovic add much needed pace to the attacks.
How does Zlatan miss this... pic.twitter.com/aOkPFb4Feg— The Press Express (@pressdontstress) January 24, 2020
Milan Still Lack Clinical Finishing
The Brescia game was a tight affair but it was made out to be a tough challenge due to Milan’s inability to take their chances and kill off the game early. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was saved from blushes by Rebic’s winner but he inexplicably missed a sitter from a square ball from Hernandez. He placed the ball just wide eventhough he should have buried it 100%. Throughout the game Leao and Ibrahimovic came close but kept missing the target or slamming the ball directly at the keeper. Castillejo was another player who could have score twice but lacked a definitive touch at the last moment. Milan beat Brescia but cannot rely on lucky goals against tougher opposition especially next week against Torino and Hellas Verona who both attack.
La Gazzetta dello Sport ratings for Brescia 0-1 Milan: Overall rating of 6.5/10, Donnarumma the best on the pitch with 7.5/10. pic.twitter.com/BuwATVffG9— Meytar Zeevi (@RossoneriBlog) January 25, 2020
Defensive Compactness Needed
Milan have managed to keep a couple of clean sheets in 2020 thus far but have been quite fragile defensively. Romagnoli and Kjaer clearly need more time together to develop some chemistry and to understand each other’s movements. The pair have been solid but once in a while seem out of sync opening a pocket of space that Torregrossa found a few times. Conti and Hernandez need to do more, Milan get shafted on both wings as the opposition easily find their way to the corner and put in threatening crosses. Moreover, Kessie despite his improvement needs to exploit the physical side of the game as he has been losing out on too many battles in the midfield and can cover the defence much better than he has shown recently.