The problem does not only concern the second lines: in the two semi-finals of the Champions League, the columns of the team and Pioli were missing. And Leao paid for the injury
AC Milan stenterello 2023 edition made headlines above all for one factor: the squad not up to par with the other big names. At least some of them. Translated: for Pioli complex rotations, if the quality gap between those who enter and those who leave is too wide. However, the reflection is true, only that one has recently been added that really conveys restlessness: this Milan in the hottest moment of the season has been betrayed by its big names, and not by the second lines.
The psychophysical factor
Pioli had already talked about it after the bad draw with Cremonese, when he said: “The changes in the second half made the game worse”. And those changes were the most titular. A bit like those wrecked already in the first Euro-round with Inter, and also devitalized in the return match. He betrayed those who shouldn’t have done it due to technical depth and character. They have betrayed several pillars on which this Milan was built and Maldini is probably right when he says that in the current squad there are too many players who are not used to coping mentally and physically at these levels. Yet Giroud has won a Champions League, Hernandez as well (albeit as a reserve), Diaz has played among the most prestigious stages in Europe.
They are not three random names, they are three among those who were called to leave their mark. It is always the group that loses and never the individual, but in a derby like this, highly linked to the episodes, those who fail, for example, the appointment with the goal indelibly stain their conscience. It is precisely at these levels that the difference between those who know how to seize the moment and those who waste it materialize. The sliding door, the real sliding door of this match, closed in Diaz’s face in the 11th minute of the first half, when the Spaniard threw a perfect assist from Tonali into the landfill, concluding with a kind phone call to Onana. Yeah: minute number 11. If Milan had taken the lead, where would the match have turned? What Milan would it have been? And above all, which Inter?
A devoured goal, that of Brahim, which was consistent with the bad evening, making all the rest that could have been wrong wrong. Busted crosses, presumptuous dribbling between four opponents, silly fouls in attack. And to think that the Rossoneri’s 10 is one with heavy goals. A bit like Giroud, who damned his soul as usual, but never managed to find himself in an interesting context. He also struggled to protect the ball and play on the sideline, things he usually always succeeds. Oly also went down in history (AC Milan) as Mister Wolf, the man who solves problems. Except that the last seal dates back to mid-April (in the second leg of the Champions League against Napoli) and is the only one in the last two months. And what about Hernandez, who went from wonders with Lazio to hardship in the two Euroderby and La Spezia. The two sides of the moon, with no middle ground. Tuesday night he missed a bloody support coming out after 50 seconds of the game and, in short, the dawn of the match told well what would come next. And that is nothing, apart from a poisonous left out of a breath.
Among the absent – but in this case justified – is Leao. Who grit his teeth, made himself available in record time, but missed too many workouts to be explosive as usual. Indeed, he gave the feeling of having played with the handbrake on for fear of ending up in the infirmary again. A pity because, apart from Diaz’s, the only other real Rossoneri scoring action came from him. In his own way. Scraping rubber on the wing, overtaking two opponents and finishing with a left foot almost caressing the post. We close with Maignan, and given what he saved between round trips, we allow ourselves nothing more than a simple joke: even if Mike concedes a goal on his post, it was evidently his destiny for this Milan to stop at the penultimate stop.
18 maggio – 12:44
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