After Inter managed to beat Fiorentina on Friday evening, Milan were temporarily knocked down to second place in the league standings. The added pressure didn’t seem to bother the Rossoneri, though, as they put four past Crotone after what was a relatively quiet first half.
Just like against the Nerazzurri, the away side crumbled at San Siro and the three points were never really in danger for Stefano Pioli’s men. Once again, therefore, the pressure is back on their city rivals ahead of their clash with Lazio next weekend. Milan, meanwhile, will take on Spezia in the next round.
Either way, it was very important for Milan to clinch the win this season and in the process, several players were able to boost their confidence with good displays. The margin at the top is back to being two points, in other words, and down below are three things we learned from the Rossoneri’s display.
1. Ibrahimovic wanted revenge and he got it
The Swede was eager to bounce back with a strong performance this afternoon after the penalty miss against Bologna. Furthermore, he hadn’t scored for two consecutive games which, as we know, is unlike him this season. Revenge he wanted, in other words, and revenge he got.
As Milan looked a bit sloppy in the first half, he decided to take matters into his owns hands, positioning himself on the edge of the box. A one-two with Rafael Leao later, the 39-year-old scored his 500th club career goal with a lovely finish. And in the second half, he added to his tally with an easy tap-in, positioned right once again.
2. Rebic is slowly finding his form again
The Croatian hasn’t had an easy season with a dislocated shoulder, which kept him out for quite some time, and then COVID-19. Fortunately, it seems he’s starting to find his groove again after getting significant playing time in the last two games. After the goal against Bologna, he wanted to continue on the same path today.
And so he did, not only performing well on the left flank, but also joining Ibrahimovic in the brace club. One header and then a powerful right-footed effort, all in the space of 69 seconds, brought Milan from 2-0 to 4-0. Hopefully, Rebic will continue like this and return to being an undisputed starter for the club.
3. Calhanoglu will be crucial in the Scudetto race
The Turkish international recently recovered from COVID-19 and although he wasn’t fit enough to play from start today, it didn’t’ stop him from having an impact on the game. In the 61st minute, Calhanoglu was introduced into the game and it didn’t take long for him to make a difference, transforming the attack.
He assisted both of Rebic’s goals and now has a total of eight assists this season, which further proves just how important he is for Milan. With him on the pitch, the Rossoneri attack is so much more lethal and he will be crucial for the team in the Scudetto race. Hopefully, he will stay healthy until the end of the season.
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