5 things we learned from Milan 2-1 Empoli

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@acmilan.com
@acmilan.com

Milan recorded their first victory of the season on Saturday night with a 2-1 win over Empoli at the San Siro.

It was, simply put, a very poor and nervous performance in which the visitors were given far too much respect.

Nevertheless, the Rossoneri were able to take maximum points from the game.

With that being said, what can we take from the game?

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

1. Still missing: Midfield

I realise I am beginning to sound a bit like a stuck record at this point, but the issue still hasn’t been addressed.

There were spells within the game in which Empoli completely dominated and made Milan look very foolish. This was, as per usual, completely due to having an absent midfield that failed to hold on to the ball and dictate the game.

This team is at least a top class midfielder away from achieving anything relatively successful this season. Otherwise, the team is unbalanced and disjointed whilst the opponents will always find the game easier against a midfield that can’t string four passes together.

Berlusconi and Galliani need one more piece of major investment (possibly three as I’d like to see an experienced defender and a trequartista) which may be difficult given they probably need some outgoings in order to bring people in.

Still, all the investment up to this point could be nullified if there isn’t the sufficient midfield link to utilise the squad’s abilities. It is becoming such a glaringly obvious flaw that it must to be addressed.


Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

2. Luiz Adriano MOTM

My man of the match was without a doubt Luiz Adriano.

In order to understand him, you must first understand the role he is being asked to perform. As a secondary striker to Bacca, LA must eat up space and attack pockets of the pitch, drawing defenders towards him and freeing space in the middle.

It is such an important requirement for the front three to function, and Adriano got his reward on Saturday with a goal and an assist in what was an encouraging performance despite the adversity going on behind him.

We will see a lot from the Brazilian in the weeks to come. From what I have seen, he is an intelligent footballer who has the ability to impact games substantially, providing the defence isn’t entirely aware what he is doing.

Some people criticised his performance at Fiorentina, but I find that nonsense. Mihajlovic got it wrong that day; Milan should have gone one up front and kept the trequartista instead of going 4-3-2 and looking completely off balance.

Forza Luiz. Plenty to come from him, like I said.


GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

3. What is the matter with Bertolacci?

Part of the midfield failings of il Diavolo so far this season and in preseason have to be attributed to Andrea Bertolacci in my honest opinion.

Again, I know this is hardly the first time I have mentioned Berto, be it positive or negative, but the truth is he plays such a crucial role that the entire flow of the team almost depends on whether he plays well or not.

When confident, Bertolacci can pull the strings in midfield; distributing passes all over the pitch, feeding both the forward line and the overlapping full-backs (which should especially be the case at home against Empoli).

It appears that Andrea just isn’t confident at the moment. He has been completely absent and the team has suffered as a result. Perhaps not having a natural CM partner on the other side of De Jong has not helped, or maybe even De Jong is partly to blame due to the way he is asked to hold the midfield.

I don’t really know what the answer is with Bertolacci. I wouldn’t change the formation, however I would say something has to be done in order to get him his confidence back and let him dominate games like at Genoa.


GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

4. Bonaventura is back

I was most impressed with the display from Giacomo Bonaventura, another player who under the right circumstances can completely grab a game by the scruff of the neck and make it his own.

It will have been disappointing for him not to start and to essentially lose his place in the team to Antonio Nocerino, yet when he was introduced he completely changed the game.

Obviously statistically Bona will have an assist to show for this as he whipped in the corner for Luiz Adriano to head Milan 2-1 up, although he did much more than that.

For some reason, he seemed to thrive on the urgency of having to force the game and push for that second goal as he came on in the trequartista position for Suso in the 55th minute.

He is quick, tidy in possession, generally makes good decisions, precise with passing and has the threat of a very good shot also. That is everything that a number 10 should be.


Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

5. The winning feeling is important

This is another point I have stressed a lot and I will continue to stress it until either I get fed up or you all get fed up.

The most important thing is always the three points, without question. Given how bad last season was, all that matters is to get the winning feeling in the camp to help the players in the early stages of the season.

Of course the win was not convincing, and coach Mihajlovic was very clear in what he thought about the performance in his post match comments, but ultimately it was a win that was sorely needed heading into the Derby della Madonnina in a fortnight.


So, that was what I took from the game (upon re watching, I didn’t see it live).

Special mentions have to go to coach Mihajlovic; as mentioned his statements after the match filled me with a lot of confidence that he will continue to squeeze the best out of the team and won’t accept scrapes like that. Also, Carlos Bacca must receive praise for getting off the mark with a nice finish.

Now, we look forward to the Derby. Just a subtle reminder that Miha is 100% so far in the Milan Derby; no pressure!

Article by Oliver Fisher

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rosso

Iam afraid Jovetic is to hot atm and he will score against us and we will lose derby but I really hope we win, winning against Inter is the most important match to Win every season , I get really depressed all season when we lose against Inter, we must beat them!

Shams

Miha will hopefully put dejong in the bench. Montolivo in central midfield. Watch Bertolucci play with montolivo

Dejong the midfield cancer needs to go

Comandini

Oh My God….not Again…Galliani negotiate with lazio for lulic?????….something went wrong with Galliani….nothing more to say…..Soriano is very close with napoli…witsel….just dreaming….Inter ggot Ljaic …Juve got hernanes…my goodness….FORZA MILAN!!!!

bibeebluv

Beta sign some1 gud 4 d midfield

Lucas

Nice points Oli.

In other news Milan loaned Mastour to Malaga with a 5MM option at the end. Milan has the option to buyback for 6MM. Good deal I’d say.

Jomokau

Lucas. Thanx for clarifying that Milan has the option to buy him back for € 6 M. Other media reports only stated that Malaga has a buyout option of € 5 M, and I thought we were looking at another Saponara situation.
Now I can sleep easy.

Lucas

Yeah I read the same things and was so pissed that I checked a bunch of websites and finally figured it out that there is a buyback option in the deal.

fuaaddoha

Bonaventura ….. Best player we have in the squad

David

Jack is back? Did he ever go anywhere?

Anonymous

Lol, Milan is a joke.

Nazeeh

Need a strong midfield
Buy Witzel please
Need Balo to play as TranquestrI instead of Honda or Sosa, this is how MachinI used him in Man. City

Nazeeh

Need a strong midfield
Buy Witzel please
Need Balo to play as TranquestrI instead of Honda or Sosa, this is how MachinI used him in Man. City
I like to Kucka with Berto and possible Witzel
He was nervous his first game with he was all over which I like to see unlike Honda, Bona dancing around

successor

Best manfor the traq position is Menez believe it or, not.. He comes back to get the ball,he is fast, bribble 1/2 at a time and can give the front 2 clear pass or prefer Bonaventura in that position while Kucka play at the left midfield