Lazio 0-3 AC Milan: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri – Kessie the MOTM with a fantastic display

AC Milan secured an important win away at Lazio earlier this evening, netting three goals and keeping a clean sheet to increase their chances of reaching Europe. On Tuesday, the Rossoneri will take on Juventus and thus it was important to clinch a confidence boost. Down below are the tops and flops.  Continue reading

Milan brought back to earth ahead of tough clash against Lazio – team update and more

AC Milan failed to make it three consecutive wins on Wednesday evening as SPAL managed to secure one point and deflate Stefano Pioli’s men. In the end, the latter were saved by an incredible own-goal, although they were unlucky to be in that position based on the game. 

The Rossoneri didn’t play poorly, one should emphasise, but they lacked the final touch in the decisive moments. On top of that, they conceded two early goals that easily could have been avoided, with a certain amount of luck involved for the home side. It just wasn’t their day.  Continue reading

How might Lazio solve their striker emergency against AC Milan?

IMG_1556

The phrase ‘selection headache’ gets thrown around a lot in football journalism.

But it wouldn’t be a great surprise if the puzzle facing Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi on Saturday has had him reaching for the paracetamol.

The capital club came from behind to win for the second game in a row against Torino on Tuesday night, a result that kept Serie A leaders Juventus just four points away.

But their efforts came at a price, as strike partners Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo picked up bookings that ruled them out of Saturday’s clash with AC Milan at the Stadio Olimpico through suspension. Continue reading

SPAL 2-2 AC Milan: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri – Paqueta bounces back with impressive display

After the impressive 2-0 win against Roma, AC Milan failed to make it three out of three as SPAL scored two early goals to shock the away side. The Rossoneri eventually found a way back but it took an own-goal to seal the draw, which will leave them disappointed as the two extra points would have been crucial. 

In many ways, Stefano Pioli’s men were unlucky but they should have done better against a ten-man SPAL. The first goal came too late (79th minute) and you could also argue that the manager shouldn’t have done that many changes, bringing in five players to try and revive the attack.  Continue reading

AC Milan 2-0 Roma: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri – Rebic continues to impress in new role

AC Milan have started the league resumption in the best way possible. Following the 4-1 win against Lecce on Monday, they managed to secure yet another three points earlier this evening, beating fifth-placed Roma by a two-goal margin and thus decreasing the gap between the teams. 

Due to the temperature in Milan, the first-half was very dull and slow as both sides failed to create chances, opting to sit back and save energy instead of powering forward on the counter-attacks. The Rossoneri changed their approach for the final 45 minutes, though, bringing on Lucas Paqueta and Alexis Saelemaekers quite early.  Continue reading

Milan got the start they needed as important test against Roma awaits – team update and more

Serie A is back underway in full speed. After failing to beat Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-final, AC Milan bounced back with an important win against Lecce, getting just the start they needed by netting four goals. If the attack was the issue before, it certainly wasn’t on Monday night.

Of course, the Rossoneri’s game was far from perfect and Stefano Pioli has surely addressed the main issues in training. That being said, they managed to create chances and even fired seven shots on target in the first half. They haven’t registered that many since the 4-1 win against Hellas Verona at San Siro in May 2018. Continue reading

Lecce 1-4 AC Milan: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri – Calhanoglu pulling the strings

AC Milan managed to claim all three points from the clash against Lecce last night, putting four goals past their former goalkeeper Gabriel. Although there were some struggles, it was important for the Rossoneri to start the resumption with a win, given how important the season finale will be. 

Stefano Pioli will be delighted with the performance as Milan’s main struggle this season has been the scoring and even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they managed to rise to the occasion. Better yet, there were four different goalscorers and Ante Rebic got his revenge from the Juve clash by scoring the third.  Continue reading

Milan seek revenge on Lecce as important league return nears – team update and more

Following the Coppa Italia exit, Milan are now gearing up to take on Lecce away from home this Monday. It will be the Rossoneri’s first league game since early March – as a result of the Coronavirus crisis – and inevitably, a lot of pressure is on the players to do well and start things off right. 

As things stand, Stefano Pioli’s are in need of just three points for a Europa League spot thanks to Napoli’s win over Juventus in the Coppa Italia final. As the competition guarantees direct qualification to the European second tier, 7th place is now a ticket to the playoffs granted that Napoli finish above.

Milan, however, aren’t interested in facing several low-level teams to secure a spot in the group stage, especially considering how the tight schedule already is. Of course, this also means that the second phase of the season will be very important, to the point where they will need every win they can get – with as few lost points as possible.

The clash against Lecce, therefore, suddenly has a very different meaning although the Rossoneri are clear favourites to grab all three points. This perhaps wasn’t the case last time out, when the Via Del Mare side managed to snatch one point at San Siro, spoiling Pioli’s first game in charge after replacing Marco Giampaolo.

The manager, as well as the team, will surely be out for revenge and taking the performance against Juventus into consideration, there shouldn’t be too many struggles. Furthermore, the return of Theo Hernandez, Samu Castillejo and Ante Rebic is absolutely crucial, with all three being potential game-winners.

By the looks of it, Pioli will continue with the successful 4-2-3-1 formation, though changing the balance of his team. Instead of composing the attacking trio with midfielders, managing to crowd out Juventus last time out, the right flank will be occupied by Castillejo – adding pace and flair to the tactics.

Given that Lecce don’t have as many quality players as the champions, increasing the attacking abilities on the loss of some defensive one seems like the right call by the manager. That being said, the pressure is on Milan to do well and the home side certainly shouldn’t be underestimated, perhaps fueled by the first-leg draw.

Likely Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Castillejo, Bonaventura, Calhanoglu; Rebic.

Likely Lecce XI (4-3-2-1): Gabriel; Rispoli, Rossettini, Lucioni, Calderoni; Majer, Tachtsidis, Mancosu; Falco, Saponara; Lapadula.

Most likely, the game will be dictated by the physical status of the teams. Lecce have had more rest but on the other hand, Milan’s clash against Juventus gave Pioli an opportunity to analyze his team. Furthermore, managing a draw despite being one man down isn’t easy and the Rossoneri’s preparation was put to the test – and passed.

In addition to getting revenge on Lecce, there are also some personal incentives within the Milan squad, above all for Rebic. The Croatian was sent off early on against Juventus, ruining the game for his teammates with a reckless high boot. Predicted to lead the attack on Monday, he will want to get on the scoresheet.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

Recapping Milan’s last few months with three topics – Rangnick, Ibrahimovic and core for future

It has been three months since I last penned an editorial article about AC Milan, all due to the Coronavirus crisis that resulted in a forced stop for society. Many things have happened since and Italian football is now back underway, with everything going as planned for the Coppa Italia.  Continue reading

Fan Zone: Isak on Ibrahimovic, Romagnoli & other Milan topics

Despite his young age, Isak Möller is a knowledgeable and well-seasoned Milan fan. He is an integral part of www.sempremilan.com and you can find him on Twitter @Isak_Moller.

Below is the latest Q&A with Isak- again I cannot highlight enough how much of a big Milan fan he is! The club is struggling to win trophies but it does not mean the fans have disappeared! Here we go:

1) Who are your 3 all-time favorite Milan players (ranked by preference) and why?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: As a Swede, it would be impossible not to choose the big striker. I started following Milan (and football in general) in 2010, meaning the first season I watched in full ended with us winning the Scudetto! Zlatan was a huge part of this and we really missed him when he left. Even at 38 years-old, arriving for his second spell at the club, he has made an incredible difference.

Paolo Maldini: Although I never got to see him in action before he retired, it’s an obvious choice. The greatest players are never forgotten, and the defender is certainly one of these. Ever since I started following the Rossoneri, he has been the symbol for the red and black colors, keeping the club’s reputation intact.

Alessio Romagnoli: As mentioned, I wish I had followed Milan back in the day. But since that isn’t the case, it would be silly not to pick a player from the more recent years. Joining from Roma in 2015, Romagnoli has been one of our best players, keeping us from crumbling completely. He has certainly become a fan favorite, giving his all while wearing the captain’s armband.

2) From the current team, pick your favorite Milan player by position. Pick one for DEF, one for midfield and the same for attack, & why?

DEF: Obviously, I have to choose Romagnoli for this one as well. Although this season has been tough, the 25-year-old has continued to perform on a consistent level, which isn’t exactly easy given the number of changes made throughout the course of the season.

MID: Hakan Calhanoglu. Yes, I’m one of those fans. If there is one player that has divided the Milan fan-base in recent years, it’s the Turkish midfielder. You could argue that he’s inconsistent, but in my opinion, he’s a very important player even when he isn’t performing at his best level. Hopefully, Ralf Rangnick can help him improve further next season, should he arrive.

STR: Of course, Ibrahimovic. It’s no coincidence that the Rossoneri have performed a lot better since his arrival in January, seemingly elevating the likes of Samu Castillejo, Ante Rebic and Ismael Bennacer. Hopefully, he will stay for next season as well, although it looks unlikely.

3) Most important Milan victory in your lifetime? Why?

I would probably have to say the Champions League win against Liverpool in 2007, getting revenge on the English side. And since it’s the last time we won the competition, it obviously makes it a bit more important.

4) Your all-time favorite Milan match? Why? 

It has to be the Supercoppa Italiana final against Juventus in 2016. After beating the Bianconeri a few months earlier in the league, courtesy of a Manuel Locatelli rocket, we managed to do it again against all odds. It was also the first trophy in quite some time, and although I watched the 2010/11 Scudetto season (I was very young), this win meant more to me.

5) What’s Milan’s objective for this season? Is it making the Europa League, or perhaps the Champions League?

As always, the objective is to reach the Champions League. However, looking at the current standings, it becomes pretty clear that the Rossoneri will have to fight for the Europa League.

6) Where do you see Milan’s weaknesses? Is it the midfield or are the issues defensively?

At the beginning of the season, I would have said the midfield, or perhaps even the attack. However, since Pioli changed the formation to a 4-2-3-1, everything has worked a lot better. I think it’s just a case of getting better players, which obviously is something that Milan will work on this summer.

IMG_1556

7) Different from ranking your favorite Milan players in Questions 1&2, who is in your opinion the best player to ever wear the Milan jersey?

I think it has to be Paolo Maldini. In addition to being an icon of the club, he has also become an icon of defending. I don’t think it needs further explaining, really, as he’s known all over the world as a spectacular player.

8) Who is the most critical player for this Milan team? Is it Rebic, Ibra or Theo Hernandez?

For the time being, I think I speak for the entire Milan community when I say Ibrahimovic. Sure, you could argue that both Hernandez and Rebic have done better on the pitch. However, you can’t deny the Swede’s incredible impact on the team, turning things around after a poor first half of the season.

9) Who should Milan sign realistically? If you can pick 3 players to strengthen the squad ahead of the next season?

If I can only pick three players, it would have to be one for each department. Milan desperately need a centre-back, in my opinion, and signing a player like Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic would make it interesting for the future. For the midfield, the choice is obvious: Sandro Tonali. The competition is fierce, but I don’t think we should rule out the Rossoneri. Up front, there has been a lot of talk about Gianluca Scamacca, who certainly is a name for the future. However, if we need to replace Ibrahimovic, I’d say Arkadiusz Milik.

10) Why did Bonucci and Higuain fail to impress at Milan?

I think it was a combination of many things. Let’s just put it this way, Leo Bonucci wasn’t the only disappointing player that season, although it must be said he was very good under the guidance of Gennaro Gattuso. In the end, he clearly just got homesick. As for Gonzalo Higuain, he’s no longer the goalscorer he used to be. In half a season at Milan, he got 8 goals and 3 assists. This season, with Juve of course, he has 8 goals and 8 assists. Considering he has played more games with the Bianconeri, it’s not much of a difference if you ask me.

11) Based on the above, would you sign another player from the current Juve squad if he’s made available? 

I wouldn’t mind someone like Daniele Rugani, although he isn’t a personal favorite of mine. Merih Demiral would obviously boost our squad, but the price tag is simply too high. That’s about it, though.

12) When football resumes, do you see Milan with any realistic chance of making 4th to qualify for the Champions League?

Not at all, but you never know! I’m afraid we’ll have to settle for the Europa League.