Monday November 4 2019
Lazio have what Milan need

The elements that allowed Lazio to conquer San Siro after 30 years are also what Milan lack the most, notes Marcello Cossali-Francis.

Yes, they lost and yes, everything seemed to go wrong in the final 15 minutes, but there are signs that this Milan side is capable of good things. The results might not be any better than under Marco Giampaolo, but the performances are most definitely an improvement.

So far this season, Milan have really struggled in the attacking third to create opportunities, let alone score goals. With just 11 in their opening 11 league fixtures and Krzysztof Piatek unable to find that form of last year, being blunt up top has been a frequent accusation, but the Rossoneri did at least create problems for Lazio.

Samu Castillejo was full of energy down the right-hand side before his injury and Hakan Calhanoglu was far more effective in the Number 10 role in the second-half. Theo Hernandez is turning out to be a great signing for Milan, bombing down the left flank at a serious rate of knots, and if he can perfect his final ball, Piatek is bound to get some decent service at last.

Another encouraging sign was the performance of Ismael Bennacer in midfield. He is not the biggest of players physically, but he transitions the ball from midfield to attack nicely and doesn’t take an unnecessary amount of touches either. Benching the Africa Cup of Nations Player of the Tournament was one of the reasons why Milan sacked Marco Giampaolo and it’s easy to see why the club thought picking the Algeria international was a no-brainer.

The obvious problem with Milan remains that lack of a genuine goal-scorer who can turn a half-chance into a decisive finish. Basically, they need their own Ciro Immobile.

He only needed one decent ball from Manuel Lazzari to make his mark on the game, with a lovely glancing header, continuing his brilliant start to the season. Immobile now has 100 goals for Lazio in 147 appearances for the club and his tally of 13 in the league this season is one more than Milan have managed in total. That statistic alone speaks volumes.

Countless times in the game, Milan found themselves in good positions in the final third, but often Piatek’s movement was limited and, in a complete contrast to Immobile, he doesn’t look like he holds that confidence. Milan rely on Piatek for his movement, especially in the box, and there frankly isn’t enough of it.

On top of that, the service to the former Genoa striker is uninspired. So as well as an Immobile, Milan really need a Luis Alberto figure too. The Spaniard’s neat pass created the opportunity that Immobile fired on to the crossbar, then his no-look assist sent Joaquin Correa clear for the winner. He is now up to eight assists in 11 Serie A games, creating another eight big chances as well as making 32 key passes. Lazio light up when Luis Alberto is on form and especially after he moved into the more advanced role he had last season, which only happened at San Siro because of Felipe Caicedo’s shoulder injury.

Simone Inzaghi can no longer complain about strength in depth, because he secured victory once Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had left the pitch. On the other hand, Milan lost their way after the substitutions, as Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic struggled to make an impact, in turn leading Piatek to disappear from the game too.

Reassuring talk of there being time to catch up to the Champions League places is all well and good, but with games coming up against Napoli and Juventus, something needs to change very quickly at Milan. The seven times European Cup winners are level with Udinese in 11th place, already eight adrift of the trio in fourth, which now includes Lazio. Might this finally be the season that the Aquile fly into the top tournament after coming so close in recent years?

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Have your say...
Milan doesn't need retired strikers with l'impero romano ego.
On the other hand Serie A becomes second tire ligue employing Sánchezes, C. Ronaldos and Llorentes of football world, also with Quagliarella as top scorer (great lad BTW ;)).
on the 9th November, 2019 at 3:19am
Ibra to Milan would be good, need another striker, he is a winner, he is is a leader, win win win
on the 8th November, 2019 at 9:20pm
People harp on Calabria but forget we won it all with Bonera and Khaladze. Who could be frustrating. Duartes defending on the one goal was worst i ever saw. But hes new and young, am not gonna write him off. I dont personally see rebic adding a new dimention to us. But if he can keep suso out, fair enough. I think we should sack Pioli. I am back to being unrealistic and silly, but if you start Hakan, you should lose your job. Bonaventura is the only oen who can glue this team together in any way
on the 5th November, 2019 at 4:30pm
I'm also confused with odd shirt numbers. Some ligues have numbers limited to 28-30 on the shirt. The same with national teams.
Whatever the numbers, sell Calhanoglu and Suso!!
on the 5th November, 2019 at 9:46am
those games.
on the 5th November, 2019 at 4:01am
This is where my silly squad number thing comes. We sign a No 10 and then he's our No 10. We don't have Bonaventura, Çalhanoğlu and Paquetá. Only one of them should be our No 10 and we should play them in every single game. Messi has played over 600 games for Barca in 17 seasons or an average of 35 games per season. If he had played for an Italian team, especially Milan, he'd have been rotated with 3 other players for the last 17 seasons (if he lasted that long) and would've played a third of
on the 5th November, 2019 at 4:00am
@ Sheva Milan I agree with what you said about Rebic but the issue is his signing just created more problems. We don't need 3 left footed wingers especially when one of those is supposed to be our star player. This keeps happening at Milan. We had Locatelli and Montolivo and we went out and signed Biglia. We had Bacca and Luiz Adriano and we went out and signed Balotelli. We had Romagnoli and Musacchio and we went out and signed Bonucci. We constantly sign multiple players for positions.
on the 5th November, 2019 at 3:55am
to be smaller. Italian teams are obsessed with having multiple players for 1 position. Milan have 3 left footed wingers who play on the right! Barcelona and Real Madrid have smaller, tighter squads, with clear starting 11's and, yes, normal squad numbers.
on the 5th November, 2019 at 3:52am
@ Chris I acknowledged that it was a silly point. It was one of about 10 points I made so I'm not sure why people are focusing on that! Yes it is silly but I also feel it points to general lack of stability. We don'y have a fixed corner taker, free kick taker, penalty taker, we don't have fixed CB's (Romagnoli is the only guaranteed), there's just no stability within the team. In Spain teams have to wear 1-25 and you'll find the top teams keep 1-11 for their starting 11. Spanish squads also tend
on the 5th November, 2019 at 3:51am
@ Milan Fan Thank you.
on the 5th November, 2019 at 3:40am
@ AnonMilan That wasn't my post asking for an acknowledgment. Someone has used my username. I think you can probably judge from my writing style and tone that I don't really care what people think. But I do feel a need to clear things up when Football Italia allow people to impersonate other posters. And to whoever the impersonator is, seriously get a life.
on the 5th November, 2019 at 3:40am
@ Jeremy It wasn't me who posted that comment asking for people to acknowledge my posts.

@ Football Italia For the last time could you do something about people impersonating posters. I've had some idiot (presumably the same idiot) insult other posters pretending to be me. It's quite basic; there should only be one username per user and it's linked to an email address.
on the 5th November, 2019 at 3:33am
Surely someone's impersonating Maldini's Heir? I mean, no one could be that arrogant and stupid, asking for recognition in the comment section of a blog!
on the 4th November, 2019 at 11:22pm
@Maldini's Heir Noone owes you anything for your unsolicited rants and dissertations Now you're complaining that we have guys wearing unconventional numbers? Come off it, already.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 10:17pm
@Maldini's Heir , at times I see your plethora of comments and think oh lord not this guy again but by the end of them I usually end up agreeing
on the 4th November, 2019 at 10:08pm
@Maldini's Heir , at times I see your plethora of comments and think oh lord not this guy again but by the end of them I usually end up agreeing
on the 4th November, 2019 at 10:08pm
@ Maldini's heir - Some very valid points but please don't reference shirt numbers as if they have some form of tactical advantage. Some of the best players have had previously obscure numbers, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaka, Pirlo, Ambrosini whereas - on the flip side - some of the most average footballers I've ever seen have occupied "prestigious" shirt numbers. Mauri, for example, had the same shirt number for years and I can only remember 2 competitive appearances of his.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 7:00pm
I hate to be the negative guy bringing up the past, but getting rid of Gattuso and then Cutro was so predictably stupid. We were drowning in the sea and Rino threw us a rope. We threw it right back at him.

I've loved Milan since I was 10 years old. I always will.
But this team... the one masquerading as AC Milan... I genuinely have little-to-no affection for them.

The problems are so numerous that it's unlikely we turn this around any time soon. The longer it takes the less likely it becomes.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 6:41pm
I hate to be the negative guy bringing up the past, but getting rid of Gattuso and then Cutro was so predictably stupid. We were drowning in the sea and Rino threw us a rope. We threw it right back at him.

I've loved Milan since I was 10 years old. I always will.
But this team... the one masquerading as AC Milan... I genuinely have little-to-no affection for them.

The problems are so numerous that it's unlikely we turn this around any time soon. The longer it takes the less likely it becomes.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 6:38pm
Maldini's Heir
Apologies, thank you for your analysis and input.
Especially the bit that says the reason we are so bad is because we don't use numbers 1-11, I mean where were you when Milan were choosing a manager. You resolved all our problems.
I mean how challenging it is asking myself every week "goodness who will Milan put in goal this week, 99 who has been first choice for the last 2 years or 25 who has been 2nd for the last 2 years?!?". Number 10 is number of greats we have Calhanoglu

on the 4th November, 2019 at 6:09pm
I saw the defeat to Lazio as a prove that we ware still miles behind the top six. Both from Technical team and players. Everyone knows lazio about their physical nature and you survive them by either being combative or faster.examples castello( faster) and bennacer(physical). Why was kessie on the bench and krunic ahead of him?milan needs to play two pivot in the midfield since our defenders do not have the speed especially centrally.Also we need to introduce Bonaventura for experience and form
on the 4th November, 2019 at 5:51pm
Another point about Rebic.He didn't have a good game yesterday but I saw speed and physicality.He missed a good chance but he showed the intelligence to make a run into the box and meet the cross.We don't see that from Suso.The one time he had space, he sent in a brilliant cross,something we haven't seen in a while.He has characteristics that we miss and he should be given more minutes regardless whether it's as a winger or second striker.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 4:23pm
Positive signs yesterday but a lot of problems to solve.1.We still haven't found the right system or starting lineup. Who are the main men?Benacer is one imo but who are the others.Piatek?Suso?Hakan?Paqueta?Jack?Krunic? Pioli needs to decide who to build around.Until we have a clear system with defined roles the players won't be at their best.2.We are very weak on set pieces at both ends.A corner might as well be a goal kick to the opponent.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 4:15pm
I need some respect from readers of this blog. Especially from Milan fans. Thanking me for my analysis wouldn't be bad, right?
on the 4th November, 2019 at 12:58pm
Everyone has a point and problems are too many. Not much that could be done now though. I'd say keep playing with the same approach and same crop of players and things will bound to get better as there are some good things in our performances now. The most concerning thing that needs to get fixed is the no-show of the last 15 minutes every match.

But this team will gel and perform better once they play together for a few more weeks. Bennacer, Theo and others will only get better.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 11:51am
Pioli just said "we must better move on the pitch" or something similar. THX Mr Pioli, I'm not gonna watch your games.

Sell Suso and Calhanoglu ASAP.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 11:31am
@ a Varsavia I agree. Italian managers are not the level that they used to be. Watching Serie A nowadays is like watching English football 30 years ago. The quality is shocking. Teams cannot hold onto the ball for 5 minutes. The tactics are so rigid that it kills any talented players. When players come to Serie A and struggle it's not because Serie A's defences are superior; it's because Serie A managers don't get the most out of their players. And the evidence is clear in Europe.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 10:16am
Why did we sign rebic? I think he was signed because he was linked to inter, he is terrible and should not be anywhere near this team. We thought we did well last season, but really we just looked ok while everyone else played poorly too. Look at the gap between us and the top 4 now. At the beginning of this season I actually thought we had a squad to rival inter. How wrong I am. We should have broke the bank for Sensi and Barella. After nxt 2 tough rounds, we could be in the relegation zone.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 9:54am
I am here to correct myself from a previous statement on a past article;
I said this manager would last until xmas, i don't think he will make it to the end of the first week of December. I mean beating the mighty mighty Spal 1-0 and then losing to Lazio and claiming 'Milan are improving' is enough for me t sack this man by the end of today.
This teams a joke and these players are simply not good enough.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 9:37am
If nothing else they looked decent in the first half. However, I am a bit concerned about the through balls and channel play that Lazio exploited to punish us. Something we can learn as a team because our final 3rd play is disorganised at best and totally without imagination at times. Decent performance from Casti, Theo and Bennacer. We will probably have to suffer a bit before it gets better.
on the 4th November, 2019 at 9:32am

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