Good in the Champions League, bad again in Serie A. Three games without a win for the Rossoneri, who entered again at a negative moment. All causes
Not even the time to settle down before the manifesto of this Milan enters with straight legs, and refers to two little words that have come back to haunt Pioli’s dreams: concentration, construction. Key points to understand the crisis. The Rossoneri coach has been quiet for at least a month, but now he will have to look for other solutions. In January, after losing the Super cup and taking on water, he put the ship back on the right course thanks to the module change. This time he will have to invent something new.
The apple of contention is a decisive mistake in the first half. Bennacer holds the ball between his feet, raises his head and sees Tomori on the left. The pass is slow, predictable, one of those touches where a smart defender reads you right away, and in fact he does. The Englishman, anticipated by Samardzic, tries to remedy the mistake by chasing after the playmaker, but he skips him and sends Pereyra into goal, an attentive hawk. It is the first pick on an increasingly fragile wall. In 2023 only Cremonese conceded more goals than Milan, 26-25, but Ciofani and his teammates are fighting not to relegate. The Rossoneri, on the other hand, are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. After a streak of three matches without conceding a goal, Milan received two slaps from Fiorentina, one from Salernitana and three from Udinese, who hadn’t won at home since the end of September (3-1 against Inter). There’s more: most of the goals come from individual errors. Samardzic who jumps Tomori, Beto who anticipates Thiaw and finally Kalulu who keeps Ehizibue in play. The strong point is no longer such.
Leah, where are you?
By now the sour note is always him: what happens to Rafael Leao? Pioli reiterated that he is not depressed, but the Portuguese is no longer smiling. Today he completed a couple of dribbles, kicked twice on goal and flared intermittently. Translated: this is not the case. And he hasn’t scored in 11 games. His last goal dates back to January 14 against Lecce. A few solos from him, a quarter of the Champions League won with a good performance at San Siro and then nothing. The shadow of the contract renewal has been hovering over him for several months. Maldini and Massara aimed to close the deal after the World Cup, but that didn’t happen. Leao seems to have returned to the one he was two seasons ago, the indolent boy that Pioli and Ibra had to groom several times. He doesn’t even smile anymore. And maybe that’s the real problem.
And there in front…
Ibra stole the show as always: the penalty with which he took the record for oldest scorer in Serie A conveys courage and mental strength, but the rest of the match is pure shadow. A right-footed shot from outside a free-kick, some banks, two or three exchanges. Stop. There has never been an understanding with Leao. And the manifesto of his game is all in the first half: with Saelemaekers on the right, ready to cross, the Swede goes close to look for a lick, leaving the area unguarded. Giroud would have stood there in front of him like a ram. Ibra, on the other hand, seeks dialogue. Last neo: who comes from the bench does not affect. Origi, Rebic, De Ketelaere. Nobody kicked on goal. Only Krunic tried, a halfback, with a right foot on the billboards. He needs more to get out of the crisis. The break will serve to rearrange ideas.
March 19, 2023 (change March 19, 2023 | 08:21)
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