FILIPPO INZAGHI left the sold-out Estadi de Mestalla on Sunday with the belief that his boys did well against Valencia.
This pre-season hasn’t gone so well for Milan so far and yesterday they lost yet another game, this time at the Trofeo Naranja. Valencia’s Paco Alcácer scored 1st with a long-range shot but Keisuke Honda cancelled out with a great free-kick.
However, Rodrigo made it 2-1 before half time and that was the final score. Milan did better than they did against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool but were still very poor defensively. Still, coach Inzaghi believes Milan did fine overall.
“We played well, we controlled the match, although it was clear we suffered at times,” Inzaghi, who was picked by the club to replace Clarence Seedorf, said in the post-match press conference. “At this moment I am looking at the individual performances. We lost two goals that could have been avoided, we know we must improve. We were on a par with Valencia.
“When you face these teams it is difficult to appreciate that in less than a month we have reached their level. Valencia are aiming high this season. We accept the fact we lost, but compared to three weeks ago I saw another team out there. We want to dictate the play, especially in Italy when we’ll be up against teams that are weaker than us, and when the season gets underway we won’t allow these defensive lapses to happen again (both of Valencia’s goals arrived thanks to Milan’s defensive incompetence). Next week I’ll have a full squad and already against Juve in the Trofeo TIM and it will be different.
“Our key match is against Lazio and I would have been less satisfied if we had won by chance, after all it was still only a friendly, Serie A is different. This way we know we must improve. Honda? I have understood that Honda could do well in that role (right winger), he has the right quality. The goal from the free kick was a training scheme; Honda struck the ball well.
“In attack we had only a few options (Balotelli and Niang were left out, suffering from the flu), yet we still had two excellent chances through El Shaarawy and Essien and I don’t recall any great saves by Diego Lopez. Menez is able to fill any of the three roles in attack, and I preferred to play him as a false number nine because that suits him well in my opinion.
“I am happy with how Menez played after the injury set back two days into his adventure here.” Inzaghi has a lot to do before August 31st. He will have the sort out the defense, decide on a favourite midfield trio and make the attack less predictable.