As I wrote about earlier today, Milan had a golden opportunity against Genoa, potentially climbing to fourth place in the standings. Luckily, they managed to do so, although it took a miracle from Romagnoli.
Heading into the game, the Rossoneri were forced to face a few issues. With the likes of Biglia, Bonaventura and Calabria not fit for fight, Gattuso decided to switch formation once again, fielding a 3-5-2 with Bakayoko leading the line in the centre. Fortunately, Milan took the lead early on thanks to a brilliant strike from Suso, who’s really been crucial for the team as of late.
However, despite having the lead, as the first half progressed, Genoa started to get more and more of the momentum. This was particularly evident at the beginning of the second half, as sloppy play from Milan and Bakayoko led to the equaliser for the away side. Kouame’s attempt took a wicked deflection off Romagnoli, causing the ball to sail over Donnarumma into the back of the net.
Disappointing, of course, for Milan, though it was far from undeserved. Luckily, as against Sampdoria, the players reacted well to get the game back on track. In fact, they managed to rack up several good chances, but they found Radu hard to beat in goal.
The hard work would eventually pay off, as Abate fired the ball into the box in the 91st minute. Radu, the same goalkeeper that had kept Genoa in the game, failed to get proper length on his punch, allowing Romagnoli to attempt a difficult volley dink. Seconds later, the San Siro erupted in joy, as the captain’s gamble had paid off, making up for his own-goal earlier in the game.
However, even though they got away with all three points, and subsequently sent themselves into the top four, there are still many question marks. Once again, for the 16th consecutive game, Milan conceded a goal. This time, though, it was certainly unlucky, although the Rossoneri have themselves to blame for not clearing the ball. The negative trend continues, although the positive trend of outscoring the opponents continues as well.
In addition to the defensive struggles, worrying reports out of Milan suggest that Lucas Biglia left the stadium on crutches, not putting down his right foot during the process. Later this evening, Gattuso confirmed the concerns: “He had a setback on an old scar. When you talk about calf injuries, we know he will be out for quite some time”.
With that said, Milan might have to settle for Bakayoko in the upcoming games, although Gattuso arguably should give Bertolacci or Mauri the chance instead. The Chelsea loanee played well for most of the game, but was at fault on the away side’s equaliser, putting the ball into the path of the opponent. In the end, it will come down to which formation Gattuso decides to go with from here on, with the 4-4-2 being a strong contender.
To summarize the game, it was frustrating for Milan at times, as it seemed the ball just wouldn’t go in. Fortunately, they managed to claim all three points in a dramatic fashion, something that is always appreciated by football fans. Hopefully, Gattuso’s men can continue to work on the flaws, while perfecting their strengths.
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