Vincenzo Montella says it was important to win and secure the qualification and thinks this team is better than what the Serie A table shows at the moment.
Milan have won Group D of the Europa League group stage with one match to spare as they beat Austria Wien 5-1 last night, while AEK Athens and Rijeka drew.
With Kaka watching from the stands together with Marco Fassone and Massimiliano Mirabelli, Montella played a 3-5-2 formation using André Silva and Patrick Cutrone from the start.
Milan had the stronger start but against the run of play, Christoph Monschein (21′) managed to take advantage of a (funny) double Gigio Donnarumma-Bonucci howler to give Austria Wien the lead.
However, the reaction of the Diavolo came right away: in the 26′ minute, Fabio Borini found Ricardo Rodriguez on the opposite side of the box and the Swiss beat goalkeeper Patrick Pentz. 10 minutes later, a Rodriguez free kick found the feet of André Silva and with typical composure, the Portuguese gave Milan the lead. In the 42′ minute Cutrone got on the scoresheet as Borini, who had a great performance, bagged another assist and found the head of the 19-year-old striker.
In the second half, Austria Wien continued to give Milan tons of space and defend poorly, and the Rossoneri took advantage of it: in the 70′ minute, Hakan Çalhanoğlu found André Silva inside the box and the summer signing with a turn and finish made it 4-1. Cutrone scored again in the last kick of the match after a one-two with Luca Antonelli and the scoreboard – as it did in Viena – showed 5-1.
While the level of Austria Wien is far from the level of most Serie A sides, it was important for Milan to win this match as they now have a favorable schedule in front of them in Serie A until January.
“It was an extremely positive evening, we won the top spot in the group,” Montella told Sky Italia after the game. “We can focus on the Serie A and on the Coppa Italia and we will honor the final game in the Europa League group phase, as that is what our history demands.
“Qualification from top of the group was the minimum objective, we achieved it, and now we turn our focus to making up lost ground in Serie A. In the last 4-5 games we have shown growth in respect to the level of the opponents. Milan are in the process of gaining the right mentality, but unfortunately we were improving right as we came across sides like Juventus and Napoli, who are ahead of us now.
“We must improve and we are working on it. I have clear ideas on the players at my disposal and what they can give us. Now I want to focus on Serie A, because this squad deserves more than it has achieved so far, considering the performances [Milan are currently in 7th place in the league].
“The positive and negative aspects of the match on Thursday? The thing I liked the most was that the team didn’t lose its head after going behind. It didn’t get too frenetic in a difficult moment for our season and that gives me the confidence the team believes in what it is doing. Obviously, what I didn’t like was the lack of consistent tempo and aggression throughout the 90 minutes.
“Kaka [who met the management yesterday]? He is a fantastic player, it was a pleasure to meet him and I’m glad to have seen him. Fassone? I see him particularly serene and he transmits his serenity.”
Montella also held a post-match press conference: “It’s an important win, we have reached the first mini-objective of the season. This first place gives us the opportunity to be back playing in Serie A more relaxed although we won’t underestimate the last game in the Europa group [Rijeka away].
“I am happy with how my team played because after conceding the first goal we didn’t lose our head and we kept attacking. I’m happy to have won after conceding, it never happened before [this season]. We played an intelligent game. The strikers scored too. It’s really a positive night.
“If we scored so many goals because of the opponents? I don’t know, I think this team is improving. Although it’s normal that playing against Austria Wien gives us more chances to score than against Napoli, to name one. We have to always be competitive, in the league we scored too few goals.
“The Cutrone-André Silva offensive duo? They played a great game, but they’re really young. I can’t quantify how much they can actually still improve. Silva’s goals in Europe [he is currently the Top Scorer in the competition with 6 goals]? Italian football is different, there’s less space and less time to think and choose what to do. I am sure he will get used to it, soon: he has enormous qualities and he will manage to do what he’s doing in Europe and with his national team in Serie A too.
“Two strikers from the start against Torino? So, without Suso [who missed this match due to a physical problem]? Let me understand… I’m not convinced that the fans want two strikers with Suso behind them – the fans want to win, no matter who plays. We have to keep the team balanced, we have to be careful. When I play Suso near the box you’re hammering me saying that’s all wrong.
“Borini’s process in the new role? He adapted perfectly to this new role, it’s like he has always played wingback. He’s improving a lot, it would be great if he could take it to the next level from a physical standpoint. Bonucci’s condition [he was replaced by Gustavo Gomez in the 80′ meeting seemingly for a physical problem]? It’s nothing serious, even though I have not yet deepened.
“How many points from the next 6 matches in the league? How can you make predictions? We have less than 48 hours to prepare for the match against Torino which can be a tricky one. I am fully focused on this game. I don’t do predictions ever, and those who do are usually wrong.
“Kaka in the club? He’s an extraordinary guy, he was great for Milan. I don’t know what his future will be. It was really moving to see him again, when he smiles he always gives sympathy and purity.”
Have the courage to say that we will try to get all 18 points from next 6 games.
Like we said, he’s gonna bench those talents again!
This guy is stupid. I won’t be disappointed if Silva goes from Milan, even Cutrone but I believe Patrick won’t go anyway.
How is Portuguese gonna adapt in series without playing!?!!
I started to hate montella, but I am very happy for the boys, Milan needs a real coach…we have a lot of talent and future with donna, roma, calabria, loca, kessie, suso, tiago dias, cutro, silva…
Montella is a fool he will benched those two kids again on Sunday for his kalinic.what a dum headed coach.
Hahahahaha my thoughts too
Always happy when Milan win. When you love a team, even if they are performing poorly most of the time but when they do perform that brings joy to my heart plus I love Milan more than I want Montella gone. Forza Milan!
From what I’ve seen so far, our best front 3 is Jack, Suso, and Kalanic. Silva and Cutrone don’t contribute too much when outside the box, not to mention on defense, when we press the opponent on their side. Kalanic is much more well rounded and mature than both, although he might be slightly less talented in the final touch. I think he is an upgrade compared to last year, albeit not a great one. But a guaranteed 20+ goals a season striker with his work rate doesn’t cost only 20 million. He’s decent, but he needs more goals to… Read more »
I respectfully disagree. Both Cutro and Silva are good in handling the ball, and did you not see their running and pressing?
Yesterday, it wasnt needed all that much as after equalising, we were in control in every aspect of the game.
In the first half before our lead we were trying to press, and both were too soft (more so Silva). That’s what I saw at least.
you are blind arent you even Bacca would’ve been a better choice to Kalanic and out best 3 fronts can never be Suso Jack and Kalanic. What everyone is saying is you have a duo with Cutrone and Silva and they both have more goals overall than Kalanic who played more minutes than they did. From what i’ve seen unlike you is that unlike Kalanic they both have intelligent runs to get in the box. We had Borini as the flop but its Kalanic that is the flop of Milan right now that not even “experience” is helping him
Vincenzo is that you?
Thats definetely him
Haha … neither me, nor Vincenzo has seen very much of Silva when playing in seria a. You could argue that he hasn’t gotten enough minutes, but Cutrone managed to do more with his few minutes. Silva played a full 45 minutes last match against Napoli, and did absolutely nothing, like he was thin air. Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. Every time we play Europa-nothing league everyone here gets excited about this guy or the other. Last time against Wein it was Hakan, and look how great his performances were in seria a so… Read more »
The way things are going, i think qf for next season’s ucl through winning el is milan’s best bet. I know things will get harder in knock out stage and milan have bad records in uefa cup/el but at least anything can happen in one off matches and results solely depend on how the team perform, unlike in the league where milan must perform AND also hope that big four teams will drop more points than milan gain points along the way, which is getting increasingly unlikely.
Milan10, MARK THESE WORDS: as long as Milan plays a 3-5-2 with Montella on the bench they will be kicked out of the firstcoming Knockout Game.
Next Sunday he will play again with Kalinic I presume and with the game stalling Suso. Who plays very decent last games and stops stalling.
Haha! I found a friend who’s against 3-5-2 like me!
Get some free transfers to add experience this coming Transfer window.
Experience would really help off the pitch.
Well, if milan meet one of dortmund, arsenal, atl madrid and the likes in 1st knock out round then they’ll surely go down faster than yuma asami in bukkake session but with good drawing and hopefully milan reaching peak performance in 2nd half of the season i’d say milan have a chance in el. And yes, morontella being a moron that he is, he’ll very likely choose kalinic over andriy shelva. But that doesnt mean 3-5-2 wont work. As a matter of fact,i think 3-5-2 is milan best chance at survival this season. Ive given my reasons too many times… Read more »
NO 3-5-2 DOES NOT WORK!!!
Haven’t you guys seen enough? Only Conte can play this formation. Not Montella!!!
Haven’t you seen how demotivated some players are? How they lowered in their level? How searching they are? Don’t you see the picture? Damn I really overrated you guys.
Question for you to check your football knowledge: what happens (with the defense) when you loose the ball in midfield in a 3-5-2 system?
Question number 2: Donnarumma shoots the ball but due bad weather the ball lands in his own goal, what is the situation then?
Er, i seem to remember morontella implementing 3-5-2 in fiorentina to relatively good results so yeah i think he understand 3-5-2. Yes the players look lost but at least they look like they can handle great teams (inter, juve, roma, napoli) even only for few minutes with 3-5-2 and never get dominated anymore like in lazio match with 4-3-3. Q #1: in 3-5-2 there should be an anchor or two in midfield to protect the defense. Biglia and kessie should be ones but so far theyve done poor job but what makes u think they would do better job in… Read more »
In mine terms of handling a team means you either drew or win from the opponent, not loose with a big difference in football level. Did Juve or Napoli had any problems with Milan? It was 1 big football lesson. Inter was close but in the end they lost. Roma had some resistance the first 70 minutes but Milan can’t score. So they opponent will. So absolutely no again to this system. No one can give me decent arguments. Especially not these. Then the question #1: Wrongo!! If you loose the ball in midfield in a 3-5-2 system you will… Read more »
I said many times that we don’t have kante or vidal running all over midfield to decently play 3-man at the back. But someone see things differently and here we are. Our ability to score a goal in serie A games is big question mark, since our mid can not serve our striker with decent pass. That’s why suso always try his luck by shooting outside the box even though he knows he only hits the birds above the bar. Suso we all know has changing to Suso the Birdshooter
Pls forget your 352 with roma and kalinic(slugish players)
What I gathered watching Milan this season, is that we have 11 players that are starters and hilariously most of them just started against Austria. To play with one striker is a no go. I think that we have 2 options. 3 at the back should be Mussacio, Bonucci, Romagnioli- but Zapata can even make his mark this season. As for a middle we can go with few solutions: 1.Keep playing with 3-4-1-2 and utilize Suso as a CAM. He is not perfect solution but he will do more damage than Cahanoglu for sure. A. Silva and Cutrone have more… Read more »
Haven’t you seen enough with 3 at the back?! Man you’re a complete nitwit when it comes to football
15 more games mate. Just 15 more games and I will start bashing on 3 man defense regardless of the actuall facts, like you.
“Silva and Cutrone have more chemistry than Kalinic and his wife” haha. Ur funnier than amy schumer mate.
I like 3-3-2-2, it reminds me of germany in ’80 and ’90. Kessie could be milan’s matthaeus but just comparing their shooting, tenacity and especially decision making ability makes me cringe. Also, milan appoint kessie as main penalty taker, like matthaeus. Why?
No wonder Indonesia stays on rock bottom of football level with these kind of logics
just shut up and think bout ur country…
why bothering mentioning Indonesia of a man’s comment
It’s sarcasm, cool down
Yeah i was devastated too when netherlands lost to sweden, home of sheva a.k.a. Imperfect10, in wc qf. *wink
So Sheva s from Holland?
Amy? C’mon mate, I actually hope that you are sarcastic. Fucking Amy ripping of good comedians. Lous CK is a god of comedy. 🙂
As for 3-3-2-2 I really don’t believe that, as you would say, Morontella is clever enough to try that even if we give him Alex Ferguson contract lenght. But Matthaeus and Kessie in same sentence, now that is comedy 🙂
Montella is coming from the other space, such an intelligent coach for mediocre teammate. How can you assume Kalinic and Suso will be better for sunday even they never get his good performance together, and even suso always bad on SS, but you prefer them better than Cutrone and Silva. Cutrone and Silva have so many potential as deadly duo. They have potential to dominate Serie-a.
You should learn Montell. i am not disagree about 3-5-2, You can play with Cutrone and Kalinis as fowards, 5 midfield are Borini-Suco/Calhanoglu-Biglia-Kessie-RR.
Montella player selection is pure rubbish. A top player starts to flourish at 20-22. What is he trying to do by regularly benching Silva. Kalinic cant even get 2-3 goals. YONGHONG LI, are you blind to such a coach?
F you Montella… That’s all what I have got to say.
Hope the poor boys don’t go on the bench the next game for his favorite striker. I have and will continue to say it, ANDRE SILVA will become one of the best strikers in the world either with us or else where because his feature and qualities are obvious for those with “eyes” to see. He’s our best 9 by miles and believing in him by starting him would do Milan good but Mr Montella always has other ideas and doesn’t seem ready to leave the laboratory soon. We saw how many crosses went into the opponent’s box yesterday? its… Read more »
“If we scored so many goals because of the opponents? I don’t know, I think this team is improving.
what a clueless coach..
Kalinic isnt working. Kessie needs to be given a rest once in a while. Andre silva deserves a start in serie a. These r all pretty obvious, but because of montellas stubborness they dont happen. Im not saying im right all the time, but every milan sees this. Thats the definition of a weak minded stupid coach
Cutrone and Silva had great movement on and off the ball. Cutrone last goal to get away from his defender was old school movement and it was a breath of fresh air. He’s definitely a keeper. One thing I’ll give montella is that he isn’t afraid to use our young talents. He brought locatelli cutrone calabria into the mix. Cutrone loves this team so I hope he stays for a long time and turns into a world class striker. In other news real Madrid are seriously looking to get bonucci in January, to all the people that criticized him will… Read more »
Yeah, although it was Pippo who gave Calabria his debut and Miha played him from time to time as well. Otherwise I agree, but he should still play them all more than he has so far.
I get your point about Bonucci, but there’s a reason why he didnt leave in the big money move to City before, and joined us for a cut-price – in todays market – because he wants to be close to his family and dont want to leave Italy.
But you never know!
Comment:why cant he rest that Kessie guy. He and Biglia are so far our weakest link who cant hold play and always invite pressure on the defence
Montella should stop Playing Only kalinic up front
Andrea Silva – Kalinic
Andrea Silva – Cutrone
Kalinic – Cutrone
then will are good to go,
I really hate this 3-5-2,infact 3 man depends. Montella should be sacked.
Borini is really underappreciated here, dude has been working his butt off and performed in every position. He played most of his career as a forward, half forward and is now doing good as a wingback(?!). Dude deserves the credit
My concern is what will happen when Conti comes back. We saw that Montella never leaves out Borini and with such performances now both Calabria and Conti will have hard time
I think by now a reasonable coach should listen to what d fans have been saying concerning his team management and players selection. Not many fans are so in support of ur 3-5-2 formation but they can still bear it. But we keep saying, play us our two deadly strikers, Silva and Cutrone.,Kalinic is good but can come on as sub. Plsss I beg u montella play these lads together for a consecutive three matches in Serie a starting with Torino and watch results itself. I bet u, they will change ur story. Forza Milan
I WANT DONADONI AS COACH