Unlike last time out, AC Milan weren’t going to settle for a draw this evening as Napoli visited the San Siro once again to play for a spot in the Coppa Italia semi-finals. New signing Piatek made sure that this wish was fulfilled, grabbing a brace in the first half.
The Rossoneri put in one of their best, if not the best, performances of the season, playing incredibly well especially in defence. Napoli barely got any chances despite putting Gattuso’s men over a ton of pressure, with Kessie and Bakayoko doing very well to block off the space in front of the defence. Down below are three things we learned from the game, pinpointing the highlights.
1. Donnarumma continues to improve, world-class performance
The youngster has, as explained by myself and others recently, picked himself up after a slightly sluggish start to the season. This evening, he continued his good run of form by showcasing a great amount of confidence, having no issues with tough corner kicks at the near post.
In addition to this, he also made a good amount of saves, making sure that the clean sheet remained intact for a third consecutive game. More importantly, he brings so much calmness to the Milan side, always making himself available when his teammates try to play out from the back.
2. The best defensive display of the season
This evening, Milan were simply outstanding in defence, much thanks to Donnarumma as mentioned below. Musacchio and Romagnoli were on the same page throughout the whole game and made sure no dangerous chances were given away, while Abate and Laxalt did their job on the flanks.
Although Kessie wasn’t as great when going forward, he certainly managed to close the gaps between midfield and defence, along with Bakayoko, who for the record had yet another outstanding performance. This splendid amount of teamwork allowed the Rossoneri to frustrate the Partenopei attackers, who failed to make use of the ball.
3. Krzysztof Piatek is what Milan have been missing
The Polish striker certainly had a fantastic full debut for the San Siro side, grabbing a brace within the first 27 minutes. In such a small amount of time, he displayed why Leonardo and Maldini have spent so much to bring him here, also highlighting how Higuain just wasn’t the right man after all.
Just as I wrote in my last piece for EFL, his inspiring 20 minutes against Napoli in the league on Sunday were a sign of strength and intent, something that we got proof of today. Even though Milan weren’t outstanding up front, Piatek made every chance count and in the end, it won his side the game. Ahead of the clash with Roma on Sunday, it must be said that the number 19 deserves to play from start once again: something that Gattuso is already fully aware of.
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