AC Milan certainly didn’t get off to the start that they wanted. Putting in a lacklustre performance at the Dacia Arena, the Rossoneri failed to grab the three points as Udinese were on top for most of the game.
Right off the bat, the home side took control and Giampaolo’s side looked very tired early on. In fact, Udinese were allowed to put quite some pressure on their opponents, though the latter managed to escape the early push without conceding, somehow.
Despite the warnings, Milan never seemed to wake up properly both defensively and offensively, as they failed to hit the target in the first half. The last time that happened was back in 2018, in the derby against Inter. In other words, they didn’t impress and Udinese subsequently continued to push on for an opener.
The second half wasn’t much of an improvement from the Rossoneri, even though they looked a bit more eager to get forward. Just like the first half, Udinese quickly took control and looked the most likely to open the scoring. And as expected, they managed to do so, as Becao headed in a corner after Kessie fell asleep.
Straight away, Giampaolo made two quick changes, bringing on Bennacer and Leao while taking out Paqueta and Castillejo. Instantly, the side looked a bit more encouraged, and you could tell that the Algerian midfielder probably should have played from the start.
With roughly ten minutes to go, Samir of Udinese handled the ball in the penalty box. As a result, the referee was called into action and went out to check the situation. However, he decided to go against the opinion of VAR by not awarding what seemed like a clear penalty.
Five minutes were added on to the game but Milan failed to make anything off it, and Udinese managed to see out the win. Disappointing, to say the least, and the Rossoneri failed to register a single shot on target throughout the game.
TOPS AND FLOPS
After such a poor game, it would be easy to label all the players as the worst on the pitch. However, naming only a few, the likes of Calabria, Borini and Paqueta should receive extra criticism. The latter did try, but he failed to offer anything when going forward, constantly going back to the defenders when receiving the ball on the left flank.
As for the other two, they were just generally very poor. Taking a look at who did well for Milan, really only one player comes to mind: Gigio Donnarumma. The goalkeeper made a fantastic reflex save to deny Lasagna late in the game, and overall he looked secure.
Not a great start, by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, it worries me that Giampaolo has virtually ruled out using the 4-3-1-2 formation again this season, after just one game. The entire pre-season was spent on adapting to the new system, while the transfer market strategy followed the same line. In other words, it feels like a waste.
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