Milan after a very poor run finally won a game at home against SPAL in the 10th week. Many arguments were made about the performance despite the win. Here’s what went down.
Milan (4-3-3): G. Donnarumma; Duarte, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessié, Bennacer, Paquetà; Castillejo, Piątek, Çalhanoglu
SPAL (3-5-2): Berisha; Tomovic, Vicari, Igor Julio; Strefezza, Missiroli, Murgia, Kurtic, Reca; Paloschi, Petagna
Domination, but no result
Just like the previous games under Pioli, Milan played with confidence, and with the same odd formation 3-6-1 where Hernandez and castillejo on the wings and 4 midfielders. Despite the dense midfield, SPAL’s clustering in the back did not give Milan many solutions. Another possible reason is that the formation is still not very familiar for the players. They will get more solutions when they get used to it and get more stable.
Another problem is that some players miss the qualities needed for their positions. The most serious missing position is the right wing. In this formation, the winger needs to be very energetic with defensive and offensive capabilities. Fortunately for Milan, Theo Hernandez totally fits the left wing but the right wing is still missing. Suso could only fill the offensive side. When Castillejo played, he was not very comfortable and could not do well in both offensively and defensively. The first half finished without goals.
Time to try the same trick again
A questionable substitution was made when Calabria came in for Musacchio. Calabria is not having a pleasing season. An unnecessary red card and a very costly mistake against roma are enough to put him under huge pressure. When Suso came in, the right side got more active but it was not enough to create space to score against a team defending with 9 or even 10 players. It took Milan one chance to finish the game. Suso with a very familiar scene, scoring an amazing kick to secure the points for Milan.
The team certainly needs to improve but so far Pioli’s tactics gave Milan a recognizable character. He just needs the players with the capabilities.