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Monday January 29 2018
Milan's turning point

After the 2-1 triumph against Lazio, Nick Valerio examines whether Milan can build on the win or continue to be hit and miss. 

This performance provided everything Milan had been lacking thus far. The team that crumbled at the first hurdle overcame an immediate equaliser to secure victory. The side that couldn’t beat any of the top six inflicted only the fourth defeat of the season on high-flying Lazio. The Diavolo who felt cursed by bad luck benefited from a handball goal and the crossbar.

Gennaro Gattuso complained afterwards that everything is treated as “the turning point” for his side. It’s difficult to resist that narrative when they notched up three consecutive Serie A wins for the first time in almost a year.

Following a well-documented summer of spending, and a glimpse at the key clashes throughout the year, tonight’s contest would have quite rightly been earmarked as a European six-pointer for Milan management and investors. Instead, the reward for their hard-fought win was climbing from 10th to seventh in the table and this is where the Rossoneri find themselves.

While Gattuso’s men deserve praise for stopping the division’s top scorers, the season has been an immense disappointment and it would come as no surprise to the avid calcio observer if the Milan giants were to undo all their hard work and effort to lose the next match against Udinese.

The Rossoneri have been here before, beating SPAL, to then lose to Sampdoria, Roma and Inter in succession, and this lack of consistency put paid to any Champions League hopes before the turn of the year.

Despite this, there is a chance to end the campaign on a high and not many sides can claim they have stopped Simone Inzaghi’s thrillingly brilliant group of young guns and experienced heads.

Lazio had notched 13 goals in their three previous matches and the expectation was they would continue this stellar form, even if top scorer Ciro Immobile was on the sidelines.

Inzaghi has goals aplenty in his squad, Luis Nani and Felipe Anderson both struck in midweek, yet still couldn’t make the starting line-up. The capital club may have lost the encounter, but are going places and will have nothing to worry about in the race for a top four spot.

For the hosts, this the first time in nearly 11 months where they have recorded three consecutive wins domestically. Gattuso is the latest in a long line of Diavolo legends to be thrusted in to the hot seat and has fared well so far.

The World Cup winner has brought a steely determination and will not tolerate lapses in concentration. Defender Davide Calabria was outstanding against the Biancocelesti and didn’t put a foot wrong all game. The Italian is not the only player to benefit from Gattuso’s arrival. Franck Kessie has upped his performance levels, as well as output, and now resembles the star who made his name with Atalanta.

The same can be said for ex-Lazio skipper Lucas Biglia. The veteran shackled danger man Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for the best part on an hour and the Serbian grew visibly frustrated. Milinkovic-Savic, who has already surpassed last term’s personal haul and been one of the stars of the season, eventually got in to the match, but it was too late and this is testament to Gattuso’s game plan.

Starting striker Patrick Cutrone repaid his Coach’s faith with the opening goal. The Como native was at his effervescent best, reminiscent of Gattuso, and his attitude is contagious. Cutrone never stops and Milan need more characters like this going forward.

In the short-term, the fiery former midfielder has improved the Rossoneri, but we have been here before. Clarence Seedorf and predecessor Vincenzo Montella both got off to good starts, and The Little Airplane even ended the long spell without silverware, but neither man lasted a significant period of time.

For Gattuso, it’s still early days, but the Milan hero knows the club inside out and will relish the opportunity of bucking the trend and proving he deserves the job for the long term. 

Have your say...
I saw all the matches in 2005 & 2006 and can honestly and without doubt say that Juventus won both Scudettos quite simply because they were the better team.
Infact, as proved by the expert studies, readily available to everybody, Juventus were cheated of several points in both Campionatos, but still ended up WINNERS!
on the 31st January, 2018 at 1:06am
@CARPE DIEM Homie.. "Ac Meani really cheated" Hahhaha... yes mate, didnt you get relegated not too long ago??
on the 30th January, 2018 at 10:08pm
Milan should put all their effort to win the Europa league. That's their only path to CL football for next season. They are not good enough yet to finish in the top 4 in serie A.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 4:45pm
Ac Meani really cheated, Juventus never, ever did.
Take all the facts of "Farsopoli" to the European Court of Justice and the two Milan sides would be expelled from calcio once and for all!
on the 30th January, 2018 at 4:17pm
Only Juve fans could have their team win 6 straight Scudetti only to be threatened by a Milan handball in a match that has nothing to do with them.
Nobody caught it, happened in the blink of an eye.
You expect Cutrone to calm down the San Siro and convince everyone it actually came off his elbow?

Remember Muntari ghost goal? Buffon's lips were tight.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 3:10pm
equally i would argue some of the lazio players on a yellow card were lucky to stay on the pitch after some of those challenges they put in. Cutrone goal wasn't a blatant hand ball the only clear picture i could find had the ball deviate off his elbow/torso which was against the body of the player, not one lazio player challenged the goal at the time. I suspect it is a issue which is being blown up by people with a agenda and by lazio management to fit a agenda.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 11:58am
@Beppe Rossi
Yes, we're all ignoring it.
Except Lazio, Gattuso, Cutrone and even FIGC (wait, what!?).
Ignoring is the exact word I'd use too. Maybe not everyone, certainly not the involved parties, but you get the idea.

Lazio almost had a streak of goal-filled wins, against minnows admittedly. Milan did better compared to the last meeting, which served as a warning sign of what's to come so maybe this is a sign of the reverse. Huge gap to cover for 4th but given Roma+Inter's form, maybe...
on the 30th January, 2018 at 11:20am
@Beppe Rossi

BAHAHAH

considering the 229 calls Milan got against us not to mention all the bad luck this season (YES A GOALI SCORED AGAINST US) I think it was nothing but right, he didnt do in intentionally and it could have happen to anyone. Please, handball.. Ive seen WAY worse things slide.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 8:24am
Suso is a problem right now. He isn’t adding anything to the team. Other than that the rest of the team fought like lions for the victory. Forza Milan!!
on the 30th January, 2018 at 3:07am
Forza Milan!
on the 30th January, 2018 at 2:38am
the same time despite them combining so well in Europe. And the change seems to have been made to suit Suso who was really quite poor against Lazio. If we’re going to play this formation we need to sign at least 2 wingers and probably have another overhaul. Nothing like working with what you have. I promise I’m a happier person in real life.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 12:27am
Tactically there are still issues. While the 4-3-3 has correlated with a better run of results it’s also correlated with our worst defeats. The biggest issue with it is we cannot get our best 11 on the pitch with the formation. Our best defender, Musacchio, is now on the bench. Bonucci looks vulnerable as ever but is our captain. We don’t have another winger so Bonaventura and Calhanoglu cancel each other out on the left hand side. There is not chance of getting Silva and Cutrone on the pitch at
on the 30th January, 2018 at 12:27am
Now, the boring reality. Luck plays a pretty big role in life and especially football. Gattuso has had a lot of luck in the last few matches. We could have lost all 3 but we won them. Had Montella had more luck against the top sides he could still be in a job. Indeed we had the same number of shots as Roma and more than Inter and Juve. Meanwhile, Lazio had 12 shots on goal to our 9 and hit the crossbar whereas our goal should’ve been disallowed.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 12:26am
Firstly, the positives. Great result. Really gritty performance. Calabria was fantastic and Bonaventura and Cutrone are just the best things about supporting this Milan. I don’t care about the handball (why would I?). I’ve criticised Gattuso (more the decision to appoint him) but he’s certainly done well in the last few matches.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 12:25am
So we're all going to ignore the Crutone handball goal?
on the 29th January, 2018 at 11:03pm
Early days, but the positive signs need to be applauded. A good show of mental strength is more important as this stage. Quick recoveries from set backs is required and the good results will follow. I am excited about this group of players and with time they will get there. Good show from Kessie...
on the 29th January, 2018 at 4:14pm
way too early to gauge if milan is heading for any type of revival the current run of games. Milan has a hectic schedule ahead between the 2 ties in coppa italia against lazio milan has games against sampdoira udinese roma and ludogrets, lets see how milan will do after this crazy run of games.

As for the game calabria was immense easily man of the match shout out for cutrone bonucci romagnoli calhanoglu and kessie for quality performances. btw lulic has had one of the misses of the season.
on the 29th January, 2018 at 1:13pm
10 points from 12 and 4 wins in 5 when including the Coppa Italia result vs Inter. The mentality of the team has completely switched since the debacle in Verona and the lacklustre rolling over vs Atlanta before Christmas. With Inter in free fall, Roma clearly affected by the dzeko transfer saga and radja's off the field issues, Milan must keep pace along with sampdoria in order to close down the top 5 sides. the 1st 45 minutes last night was superb. Milan's passing game was a wonderful surprise
on the 29th January, 2018 at 11:46am
Finally a game we can be proud of.

Truthfully every player did a good job.

Calabria look incredible and was the best game he played ever in my opinion. Cutrone shows stellar hart, Bonucci finally delivered some stunnin crosses, and Biglia looked experienced in the midfield. Romangoli shows why he is a head of Rugani,Hakan fought great.

If only we could get silva performing, but with 10 mins each game it looks like unlikely.
on the 29th January, 2018 at 9:46am
Calabria man of the match!
on the 29th January, 2018 at 7:09am
Well...........
Long may Milan keep Gattuso in the job!
on the 29th January, 2018 at 4:17am
Good win against a top team.3 wins in a row.Great individual performances.Lots of positive signs under Gattuso.Im only concerned with the limitations of the squad.We lack options off the bench,especially for Kessie & Jack(unless Mauri has a role to play).If things continue to improve,I would keep Gattuso.If we are forced to bring in a new coach for next season,I hope it's Giampaolo.No coach who plays a back 3 is welcome.That includes Conte.
on the 29th January, 2018 at 3:03am
The turning point for Milan would be CL qualification.For the moment though,Im happy with what Gattuso is doing.No more back 3,stable lineup that doesnt include Monto & Borini,improvement in mental strength & individual performances.Im not worried about the financial issues as we can get good money for Mussacchio,who isnt playing much,& RR who,while not a liability,isnt really adding much.Not to mention the offloaded dead weight salaries of Kalinic,Paletta,Monto,Abate & several others.
on the 29th January, 2018 at 2:49am

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