Despite a lacklustre first-half performance, AC Milan managed to get themselves together during the break, eventually scoring three goals to seal a comfortable win against Empoli.
However, as said, it didn’t look all too well in the first half. After Paqueta had a goal disallowed correctly by VAR, the Rossoneri seeminly lost energy to find new solutions, almost looking like they were in the lead already. Fortunately, they were able to turn this around in the second half, perhaps thanks to a successful speech by Gattuso during the break.
In fact, in a matter of minutes, AC Milan secured the win by putting two goals past the away side’s goalkeeper. Piatek got on the scoresheet first, as Calhanoglu picked him out brilliantly in the box. Thanks to this goal, the Polish striker has equalled Oliver Bierhoff’s record from 1998, having scored in his first four consecutive league starts.
Just two minutes later, Kessie added to the lead as Castillejo managed to get past two defenders, before freeing the Ivorian in the middle. The tirelessly working midfielder chipped the goalkeeper and so Gattuso’s men had completed a misery compiler. The fun didn’t end there as Castillejo extended the lead 15 minutes later, capitalizing on a brilliant cross from Conti.
All in all, a very convincing victory by Milan, who are now just one point behind Inter in third place. However, the Nerazzurri of course have a game in hand: facing Fiorentina on Sunday evening. In any case, the three points are absolutely crucial as the Rossoneri look to distance themselves from Atalanta, Lazio and Roma.
So, what positives can we take from the game? Based on the second half, there are many moments to choose from. The centreback duo, consisting of Musacchio and Romagnoli, did really well to close down the opponents, who only had one shot on target all game. In addition to this, Biglia made his return coming back from injury, and performed quite well even though the game was done by then.
More importantly, Castillejo proved that he’s certainly worthy of replacing Suso on the right flank. In the first half, he seemed to be the only real threat, and performed to the best of his abilities in the last 45 minutes. One goal and one assist to his name, does it get much better than that? Even though Suso remains the favourite for the RW position, Samu has without a doubt given Gattuso something to think about.
Having scored three+ goals in three consecutive league games (for the first time since December 2012), the Rossoneri have subsequently improved their goal difference, which was pretty boring a few weeks ago. If this will prove decisive at the end of the season remains to be seen, but it’s certainly refreshing to see a Milan side scoring many goals (while also conceding little).
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