The long-awaited derby ended in misery for AC Milan, with Icardi once again scoring a late winner to stun the Rossoneri fans. However, despite all the things that went wrong, the team has received far more criticism than what can be considered justified, and here’s why.
Beforehand, it was expected that Inter would take control of the game, and so they did. Milan seemingly found themselves in their normal defensive formation, with both Suso and Calhanoglu helping out a lot, as Kessie and Bonaventura took charge of the pressing along with Higuain. Even though Gattuso’s men didn’t create much in the first half, they did well to limit Inter’s possibilities, with the home side finding little scoring opportunities.
In fact, from a defensive perspective, the first 45 minutes should be considered as acceptable, just like a majority of the second half. However, once again, the Rossoneri’s struggle when it comes to crosses was exploited, which especially troubled Musacchio. The Argentinian defender was partly at fault for the goal conceded, as he completely lost Icardi in the box after a fairly predictable cross, while Donnarumma’s actions certainly didn’t make the situation any better.
With that said, though, Milan didn’t lose the game in the defensive phase. Instead, their lack of composure up front cost them big time, given the tactics that they seemingly followed. Last season, when Gattuso first arrived, the team focused on counter-attacks as it evidently was a successful way for them to attack. Ahead of this season, though, they switched to possession play, which we didn’t see anything of yesterday. Instead, they were back to pounce on the break.
However, as hinted in the title, the Rossoneri were way too sloppy when winning the ball, more or less constantly making the wrong decisions when going forward. In fact, even Suso seemed stressed, throwing away two-three really good opportunities, while the movement from his teammates just wasn’t on point. I have no doubt that if Milan had been more calm and composed, then one of these chances would’ve gone in, and Gattuso’s men would’ve been set for glory.
Instead, Milan paid for their mistakes in the worst possible way, putting a much more bitter taste to the game than what it deserved. As always, the Rossoneri can only learn from this going forward, as we will most likely see a similar approach (counter-attacking football) against Juventus in two weeks. Then again, every team has that night when nothing works, and for Milan that night came at an unfortunate occasion.
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