AC Milan had a chance to get back from the tough derby loss two weeks ago, but failed to seise the moment against Sampdoria this evening. In fact, their performance only highlighted more issues, as the home side completely dominated the game.
Many would’ve hoped to see a response to the lacklustre performance in the very important Milan derby, but today we didn’t get that. At first sight, the starting eleven looked promising, but once the game was underway there were obvious flaws in the system.
Sampdoria applied their high press on the Rossoneri’s backline, which simply couldn’t cope. This became evident after just 33 seconds as Donnarumma hit Defrel with a ridiculous pass, and the ball made its way into the back of the net. Uphill straight away for Milan, and things certainly didn’t better.
The home side continued to dominate possession and chances, with Gattuso not finding a solution to the high press. In fact, the mistakes kept on coming, and at one point it was absolutely embarrassing. Sampdoria, of course, took advantage of this, even though Milan managed to keep the scores 1-0 for the first 45 minutes.
Then, as the whistle was blown for half-time, you would’ve hoped to see a change in the second half as a result of Gattuso’s pep talk. However, nothing seemed to change, except Conti coming on for Rodriguez. Sampdoria continued to build from the back while winning back the ball easily, with Milan struggling big time.
Given how high the home side pressed, there was a lot of space to exploit for the Milan attackers. However, once that space appeared, the Rossoneri failed to switch the play quick enough, and so the chance was gone. And when they did manage to find the space, then the end product was disappointing to say the least.
In the end, Sampdoria came closest to scoring the second goal of the game. Quagliarella hit the bar in the 72nd minute, and in the dying minutes of the game they had several good chances on the counter-attack. In other words, they deserved to get away with the three points, even though the winner was gifted by Donnarumma.
As has been clear lately, Milan’s strikers just aren’t getting enough service. And when the build-up isn’t working, like today, it only gets worse. Therefore, Piatek and Cutrone were forced to fight for poor passes, most of which never even reached their destination as the execution just wasn’t there.
With that said, if there were question marks after the derby, there are certainly more after tonight’s clash. Gattuso should, without a doubt, be worried over the upcoming games, and the next one is against Udinese at San Siro. Worst case, we could be looking at three consecutive losses for a team that had done so well up until the derby. However, that’s football.
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