AC Milan did what they had to do against Chievo, although there’s a lot to ask for still. In any case, the Rossoneri grabbed three important points ahead of the Milan derby next weekend, as they will head into the clash ahead of Inter in the standings.
As expected, Gattuso’s men saw most of the possession throughout the game, but were troubled on more than one occasion by Chievo’s high pressing. Rodriguez’ absence was notable, as he’s usually very good at playing out from the back, an aspect in which Laxalt needs a bit more work. Luckily, however, Biglia was there to rescue the build-up phase when Chievo were knocking on the door.
Even though Milan didn’t really test the host’s goalkeeper in the first half, they still managed to grab the opener. Paqueta won a free-kick on the edge of the box after a nice move, and Biglia converted it brilliantly with a curling effort. Sorrentino could do nothing about the strike as it ended up in the top left bin.
However, just ten minutes later, Chievo equalised through their captain Hetemaj, who was left unmarked in the box after Conti lost track of the player. Sloppy goal to concede for the Rossoneri, who hadn’t let one in since the game against Atalanta.
Gattuso’s men were unable to respond in the little that remained of the first half, but showed great desire at the beginning of the last 45 minutes. This paid off as Milan re-took the lead through Piatek, who capitalized on Castillejo’s flick: a true striker’s goal. After the goal, the Rossoneri focused on the defending, seeing out the win.
The home side failed to get back into the game, allowing Milan to claim three important points ahead of next weekend’s clash with Inter. Just like against Sassuolo, the performance wasn’t fantastic by any means, but they got the job done. Compared to the Sassuolo game, there were certainly improvements tonight, which hopefully can benefit them well against Inter.
Looking at individual performances, Biglia was the man of the match. Returning from injury, the Argentinian put in a great shift in the midfield, dictating the play from start to finish. This is something we’ve gotten used to with the no.21, but his free-kick goal certainly sweetens the pot.
The fan favourite, Conti, was without a doubt the flop of the match. Tonight’s performance didn’t live up to his usual standard, both in the defensive and attacking phase. Since his return, he’s only performed well, so the poor performance was eventually going to come. On the whole, it will only help him in his recovery phase.
Some Milan fans will feel that the performance could’ve been better. On the other hand, Gattuso’s men have been performing on a consistent level for the last weeks, and the results just go to show for it. Of course, the performance will eventually have to pick up even more, though three points is an important testament to the progress.
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