AC Milan’s unbeaten run, which was at 24 games, came to an end this evening as Lille managed to score three goals at San Siro. Stefano Pioli’s men never came close to recovering, making far too many mistakes in both phases of the game, which cost them dearly.
The Rossoneri had been hoping to extend their unbeaten run this evening with at least a draw, having done so well at the start of this season. However, all good things must come to an end at some point, and this was the case for Milan tonight. That being said, no one expected it to end like this.
Pioli’s men looked good at the start of the game, quickly taking control of possession while finding some good spaces in the centre. After 22 minutes, though, Alessio Romagnoli was the cause of a silly foul in the penalty box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
Yusuf Yazici, who hade quite the game, stepped up and made no mistakes for the away side. For the rest of the first half, Milan tried to find a way back into the game but instead, Lille had more possession and also defended very well to keep to Rossoneri attackers away.
Therefore, at the break, Pioli decided to bring on Hakan Calhanoglu and Rafael Leao in place of Rade Krunic and Samu Castillejo. The latter was a disaster and certainly didn’t increase his chances of getting a starting spot in the future. Just 15 minutes into the second half, though, Lille had made it 3-0.
Yazici tried his luck on the edge of the box and managed to beat Gigio Donnarumma, who arguably should have made the save. As if that wasn’t tough enough for Milan, the same man extended the lead just three minutes later after a fantastic counter-attacking move, completely outsmarting the defence.
Milan had a few chances to at least get one goal after that, most notably Leao from close range, but they simply lacked the final touch to do so. In fact, they were lucky that Lille didn’t grab a fourth goal, perhaps even a fifth, as they had a lot of space to work with on the counter-attacks.
This loss, of course, is a big test for the Rossoneri’s mentality and how far they have really come in the last few months. They will face Hellas Verona at home on Sunday and should be able to grab the three points, provided that tonight’s clash hasn’t completely messed with their heads.
Six points in three games isn’t bad for Milan and they still have a good chance of winning heir group in Europa League. Therefore, it will be important for Pioli to re-energise his players and get them back on track already this evening. Maybe easier said than done, but we will see.
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