Things to take away from the opening match Milan 3-2 Torino (by Ayodaygee)

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The team celebrates during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)
The team celebrates during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)

Fan article by Ayodaygee.

This encounter was a match between two new coaches, Montella and Mihajlovic and a lot was to be expected as Miha wanted to prove how wrong Berlusconi was in sacking him while Montella had to prove he was a better choice.

The match began with both teams imposing themselves at intervals and at the end, a lot was learned on Sunday:

Donnarumma: He is indeed a word-class goalkeeper. Word class players can earn you 10 points all season long. Two points were earned on Sunday and I am sure 8 more will be earned before the end of the season.

Donnarumma saving Andrea Belotti's penalty during Milan-Torino on the 21st of August 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)
Donnarumma saving Andrea Belotti’s penalty during Milan-Torino on the 21st of August 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)

Romagnoli: For all the promises shown last season, Romagnoli is not a leader yet. Something within me believes he still has a lot to learn. Maybe if he played with a great defender for three years he would have learnt a lot but right now, he is just a good CB.

Paletta: Players like him put in so much effort that you might just feel guilty blaming them. But there are words called ‘guile’ and ‘style’ and I think he lacks both. His lack of these basic skills and poor positioning awareness often makes him a culprit as he nearly cost Milan 2 points. Players like him lose you more points than they earn you. But what can Montella do? He is at the mercy of the club.

Antonelli: I found out just how left footed he is. Looked okay but offered nothing going forward. Defensively he was average and preferred to cover rather than close up and man-mark with intensity. I hope he improves as he was below average.

Abate: A leader anytime any day. He might be the only player with a little of the Milan DNA within him. This might be because he got to play with a few greats. He works really hard for the team. His assist for the first goal was served for those that believe that he is a poor crosser of the ball. He mopped up many bad plays along his side of the pitch. He had so much to do. I wish we had a personality like his in the midfield rather than Montolivo. We’ll need him all throughout the season.

Ignazio Abate and Carlos Bacca celebrating during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)
Ignazio Abate and Carlos Bacca celebrating during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)

Kucka: Just a ball winner – nothing more, nothing less. Offers you nothing else. He wins the ball but cannot keep it. In a team of talented midfielders, Kucka is the best fit. But in a team as Milan’s, he could be a liability at times. I feel bad saying this, but he is an important player to Milan right now. That is how bad we have become.

Montolivo: A lot can be said in one word – ‘uninspiring’. Your team just took the lead and are working hard to keep the slender margin. What do you do when you have the ball in the box – hit it as far away as possible. But not Riccardo; Montolivo attempts a ball dribble and loses possession just when we just got it back. He should work in the movie industry: He gave me so much suspense and fear all through the match that I felt I was watching a thriller. Not a captain and not a leader. Just a good player that must be monitored and led by someone with more passion. His performances will improve when he has these personalities around him. Too bad, Milan has dearth of these kind of players.

Bonaventura: He is our only ball-playing midfielder and he gave his all. Played too far away from the opponents’ box and this affected our quality in the final third. One of his few forays to the opponents’ box was a moment of pure quality, reminiscent of a Rui Costa or a Seedorf moment. It led to a penalty and it won us the game. He will tire out during the season. But we can count on him for some highs and some lows. I love him.

Giacomo Bonaventura during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)
Giacomo Bonaventura during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)

Suso: A gifted left footed player playing at his peak. This is the best you can get from Suso. We should not expect anything more. He will get you at least six goals all season long. But he will flop on the big stage. A good player and he showed that. He should have been used as a squad player but the Milan we have right now has to look up to players as this.

Bacca: He might not be world class but in this team he is. He works really hard. This means that he makes it easy for you to play him in. Milan should be lucky to have ever had him. Still having him is another gift from mother-nature. Now it is clear we need him. The fans will never forgive Milan if they lost this gem.

Niang: He made two key contributions throughout the match. The first was sublime and executed with a great technique. The second was opportunistic. A good performance all throughout the match. I have this feeling that he tires out of matches and cannot put in 100% effort all through 90 minutes; anything between minutes 5 to 70 is great. Can he really keep up this form over the whole season? I really hope he can.

Vincenzo Montella giving instructions to M'Baye Niang during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)
Vincenzo Montella giving instructions to M’Baye Niang during Milan-Torino on August 21st 2016 at Stadio San Siro (@acmilan.com)

Montella: A good coach when it comes to tactics. The build up to the penalty was off the training ground. We made some beautiful moves and he deserves all the plaudits for this. However, he does not strike me as a disciplinarian or being hard enough on his players. The players, especially the midfield looked unfit or maybe the Torino players were fitter.

There was a consistent gap between the midfield and attack. The players preferred to cover rather than to man mark with intensity. This was solely responsible for the two crosses that led to Torino’s two goals. I don’t want to be quick to judge, as we still have a long season. Another thing, I hope Milan management are not imposing ‘4’ at the back on Montella; at this stage, I don’t care what the formation is if it works. I just want us to challenge for titles.

Mihajlovic: I think he walked away with his head held up high. His team caused us many problems. They imposed their game on us and our midfield looked non-existent. Kudos to him. Though I don’t rate him that highly. A better coach should have beaten this Milan.


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Hachim
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Hachim

some of your points are good, but you are too critical on others. Bacca not world class? He one of the best strikers in Italy! I say he is in the top 3 in Italy, so what more can you hope for, when the team in not in europe and has been shit for the past 5 years. Also, you rated montalivo as a good player???? Even if he had the world best mid next to him, he will still be shit. In fact, a world class mid would put the spot light on him and let the whole world… Read more »

I-Milan
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I-Milan

Agreed.

Veer Khase
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Veer Khase

I m tired of listening to the criticism of suso. Everybody says that he is played below milan standard but i don’t know why they think so. If you watched the game carefully, you should have noticed that milan were focussing their attack on the left side. I observed suso making many runs forward out wide, but most of the time,our midfielders opted not to pass to him. In my view, it was montella’s game plan to make the most of torino’s slow right back(de silvestri), as niang is really pacey.Despite seeing less of the ball, suso created two clear… Read more »

Rosso
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Rosso

I agree, milan do not have a good passer who could switch play from wing to wing . Niang did it once and look how it ended .Abate was finally unleashed and became a goal . We gave away our long pass maestro Pirlo counting on a hopeless Montolivo who had never put a long ball forward confidently . Bacca could do much much more with a nice lob forward.

I-Milan
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I-Milan

Nice write up, but some of the point sounded like absolutes, which is rather unfair given that this is the first match of a new season under a new coach. Yes, Antonelli, Romagnoli, Kucka, etc. did not have the kind of game expected of them, but you cannot rule them out of achieving greater things. They are well capable of more – and they will deliver more. A coach does not not need to bark at his players for us to know that he is disciplined and the players respect his leadership. Montella is a strong person and is way… Read more »

Kourosh
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Kourosh

“Bacca: He might not be world class … ”

Pffft.

Mattia
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Mattia

Only few criticize Antonelli. Agree with you, he wasn’t good when defending.

Rea7
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Rea7

Very good opening display for 70 minutes. Always fearful that Milan can’t close a game out no matter how many goals ahead they are. To challenge for top 4 they must improve defensively as a unit, especially space between defense and midfield. 3 points – great start! Bravo!

nick
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nick

For the most part this was spot on, except for the criticism of Bacca. He is world class. Just ask Sevilla who wouldn’t have won the Europa league without him. He’s a player for the big stage like Inzaghi. Montolivo is a real joke and so is Galliani. All through last season and no ome saw the desperate need to get rid of him along with all the other 3rd rated players like Honda, Adriano, Poli, Bertolacci, Mauri,Paletta, and Zapata. No one saw the urgent need to sign a world class quality defender. Milan management is a joke. Can’t wait… Read more »

alamin
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alamin

Iam tired of “this Milan is not good enough” melody. Realistically, we know this since we sold Ibra & Silva, and allowed all our greats to aged and left or retired at same time! So it is useless to keep emphasizing “this team is not good enough”, especially as there is no money as before to buy quality players. This is why Mr Berlusconi rightly sold the club. It really angered me when people forget this simple fact. By the way, there are not many teams in Series A with better squad the Milan – perhaps Juve, Roma?, Napoli?, Fiorentina?.… Read more »

angry birds
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angry birds

Agree. Romagnoli should play with world class CB!! So he could learn from him. Pogba learnt from pirlo, el sha learnt from ibra, Donna learnt from abbiati. That’s why locatelli grow slowly because he learnt from our average midfield! Lol.,

BTW, funny fact, de sciglio is first choice in Italy national team but in Milan he just rotten in bench LOL!!! Did you guys notice this?

Milan4life
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Milan4life

Can we dream to buy TS#33 back in next summer with the investment by new owners?

NeoCortex
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NeoCortex

Disappointingly biased article. Suso at his peak? He´s 22. Now finally a starter after over 2 years (apart from the Genoa time) of being neglected. He can only get better. Kucka can´t offer anything beside defensive work? Based on what? This single match? His runs and dribblings last season posed so much troubles on the opponents and gave our game injections of speed and momentum when that was required. Romagnoli just good? Yeah, now. Seemingly forgetting that he´s 21 and already easily keeps up with most other defenders in Serie A. Conte didn´t bid 35m just for a “good” defender,… Read more »

Hachim
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Hachim

I would agree with that point, that despite milan having an average team, there are not that many teams better. However this is the sign of a failing seria a, as only the top few teams can actually lure players from overseas to their teams. Also there is only one team in Italy right now, Juve, that would actually not embarrass the seria a in the champions league. Also I believe there are 5 teams that are as good as milan if not better: Juve[untouchable] and then the other 4 which milan will struggle against, but hopefully they will manage… Read more »

#1Milan Fan South Africa
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#1Milan Fan South Africa

I dont agree with your article 100%.I believe Milan can get into the champions league easily this year with the way we play going forward Gomes should partner Romagnoli and calabria and MDS should get playing time.

ACE
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ACE

hacheem i totaly agreed wit u.

Shevire
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Shevire

Comment:suso was extremely brilliant in the match yesterday his ball controls where on point
Montolivo is our problem for now.

Abdul
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Abdul

Comment: u are hard on this player

FdL
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FdL

I will definitely getting many thumbs down for this. But by saying that Juventus “perhaps” have a better squad than us, then you be living on a fantasy world. @alamin

alamin
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alamin

Juve is definitely ahead of Milan and others. The “perhaps” is for others with question mark for emphasis.

Milan10
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Milan10

The only thing that matters to me from this particular match or giornata 1 in general is cold hard fact that milan is finally above juve, inter and napoli in classifica

LAW
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LAW

People are gonna realize Paletta is our best Cb…..and Suso wasnt given much of the ball…when he was given he dilvered well……Well all that being said Montolivo should step up

ck
Guest
ck

Seriously i don’t know what game you guys are watching. Why is torino’s second goal romagnoli’s fault. Antonelli is very slow in getting up to defend. He is just watching and taking his owm sweet time to get up to defend. The ball fell kindly for baselli and romagnoli has to rush over to prevent baselli from getting a clear shot. Baselli did well by faking and change of pace to get past romagnoli (who thought that baselli was going to shoot) Antonelli was still off balance. Just gotten up from the aerial challenge. Did Antonelli injure himself or something.… Read more »

Mojdanis
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Mojdanis

Im just not agreeing with most of the article. Sorry

donremie
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donremie

Dis article is myopic, how can u say romagnoli is a small fry, apart from montolivo, I believe we can do well even well above napoli n roma! Atimes it’s not abt money, it’s abt d spirit n montella is reawakening d rossoneri spirit! Replace monto wit locatelli, buy a crazy midfielder like gattuso n we’re off to d top

Dwayne Kanas
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Dwayne Kanas

Next match against Napoli, De Sciglio should start in favor of Antonelli, Gomez in favor of Paletta, Sosa in favor of Bertolacci what do you guys think?

roja
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roja

Milan will make top 3 believe me

Uncle Tolu
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Uncle Tolu

Comment: this is just the start of the season. Lets wait for up to another 6 matches and then see the amends the coach will need make. Up Milan. I believe we can make top 4 this season.

dave
Guest
dave

in football, there’s so many roles for every player…. striker, defender, winger and so many… about kucka he has role to break opponent when defense… he dont need to make score, passing or anything else.. some players with same roles are gattuso, edgar davids, desailly and de jong… i remembered when gattuso marked rooney even ronaldinho get frustated when gattuso and ambrosini marked him… and desailly have to responbility about his tackle to marco van basten (when he played to french club)…