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Patrick Cutrone scored one, assisted another and saw Suso’s stunner give Milan the 3-2 victory over Sampdoria, as the new 4-4-2 system paid off.
The Rossoneri switched to 4-4-2 with Patrick Cutrone and Gonzalo Higuain upfront, Suso and Diego Laxalt wide, after back-to-back defeats against Inter and Real Betis. Mattia Caldara and Giacomo Bonaventura were out injured, while Franck Kessie shook off a knee problem to start. Samp chose ex-Milan youth academy product Riccardo Saponara in the trequartista role.
Milan paid the price for an awful first half and woke up too late in a 2-1 home defeat to Real Betis that puts their Europa League status at risk.
The Rossoneri needed to recover from a last-gasp derby defeat to Inter at the weekend, but were top of their Europa League group on six points, followed by Betis on four. Mateo Musacchio, Ignazio Abate and Hakan Calhanoglu missed out, with Mattia Caldara only fit for the bench. The Spaniards were missing injured captain Joaquin – formerly of Fiorentina – Cristian Tello, Andres Guardado and Javi Garcia.
Serie A: Inter 1:0 AC Milan - match report 22.10 ||webmaster
Scorer: Icardi 93 (I)
Mauro Icardi made the most of a Gianluigi Donnarumma error to give Inter a deserved Milan Derby win deep into stoppages.
This was a huge showdown even by Derby della Madonnina standards, as a win would put the Rossoneri just one point behind their rivals with a game in hand. Sime Vrsaljko and Matias Vecino shook off knocks to start, with Matteo Politano preferred to Antonio Candreva. Davide Calabria got the nod ahead of Ignazio Abate and Mateo Musacchio replaced not fully fit Mattia Caldara.
'Li lost €500m from AC Milan takeover' 17.10 ||webmaster
Silvio Berlusconi’s brother was ‘stunned’ by Li Yonghong’s failed ownership of Milan, claiming the businessman ‘lost €500m’ from his takeover.
Li lost Milan to Elliott Management after he defaulted on a €303m loan, and Paolo Berlusconi sympathised with the Chinese, who ‘behaved very well’ during his initial talks with Silvio and was ‘abandoned’ by other members of his consortium.
The Italian giants are in a time of transition as they look to push back to the top of the sport. The club are 18 time winners of the Serie A but have not been successful since back in 2011. Therefore, can they secure a top four spot this season and again challenge for future major European honours?
As expected Juventus have made a storming start to the Serie A campaign and remain unbeaten with maximum points of 24 from their opening eight games. This is no surprise as they have been the dominating force of Italian football for some time and have now acquired Ronaldo, which is only going to boost them further. They are now the short priced favourites for the league and punters have been supporting them using the latest vip code from pinnacle, as they push for their eighth title in a row.
AC Milan are currently sitting in 10th place, which is disappointing for a team of their class. This does put them within three points of the top four, just showing how close it is behind the leading protagonists. They have kicked off with three victorious, three draws and one loss. They are scoring a lot of goals but conceding ten is also a worry if they wish to push for that top four spot.
They kicked off the Serie A campaign with an early season encounter against last year’s runners up Napoli. Despite a positive showing they eventually lost 3-2, following a brace from Zielinski and then a late winner from Belgium star, Dries Mertens. AC followed this up with a fantastic 2-1 victory against Roma who they are going to be challenging for a top four. This was a very close game with Patrick Cutrone getting a late 95th minute winner for Milan.
This run of form has followed with wins against the likes of Sassuolo and Chievo as well as draws with Cagliari and Atalanta. They have yet to keep a clean sheet in the league which needs to change if they are to challenge for top honours this season.
What has been the most promising start to the season is the opening two victories in the UEFA Europa league. Match day one was an away clash with Dudelange. AC completely dominated the game creating a lot of chances, and thus won the game, following a 59th minute winner from Gonzalo Higuaín. Match day two followed at the start of October in what looked a much tougher task against Olympiacos. This would be the case but class came to the fore with a comprehensive 3-1 victory. This included a brace from Cutrone as well as a goal from Higuaín, all in the space of nine minutes.
This has been a positive showing overall from AC Milan and they will be hopeful of their chances of finishing in a top four spot. Just how important could that dramatic late win against Roma prove come the end of the season.
Biglia: ‘Emotional to meet Maldini’ 12.10 ||webmaster
Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia admits “sometimes I feel shy” when meeting directors Leonardo and Paolo Maldini.
The Argentine joined the Rossoneri from Lazio in 2017, but the arrival of Coach Gennaro Gattuso and the two directors has changed the dynamic.
Both Milan and The Azzurri Need More in Quests for European Glory 12.10 ||webmaster
As Paulo Maldini put it recently, Milan are still a long way off in their quest to get back to the very top of Italian football. But, in truth, the Rossoneri legend could have been talking about the Italian national team, who have also had their travails in recent times. Both sides, rightly, look back at their history as proof that they should be dining at football’s top tables, yet both sides have come up short in recent times.
Indeed, if evidence was needed of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup not being a blip, it was surely provided with their first foray into the UEFA Nations League. Two games against Portugal and Poland yielded just one goal and one point. There is already the possibility of relegation into the second tier, Group B, of the competition. The latest UEFA Nations League betting sees the Azzurri pushed out to 25/1 by Bet Victor. As a comparison, the same bookmaker has Switzerland at 14/1 and Portugal at 8/1. It’s an indication of how far Italy have fallen.
Milan quartet disappointed against Portugal
For anyone who believes that Italy’s problems are not Milan’s, consider that four players from the line up in defeat to Portugal – Donnarumma, Romagnoli, Caldara and Bonaventura – are key men in the Milan team. All four received fairly terrible ratings from pundits for their performances.
As with the national team, Milan’s chance of redemption lies in Europe. Of course, it’s always somewhat foolish to rule things out in football, but can we say now that a Scudetto push is beyond the realms of possibility now that Milan are already 10 points behind Juventus? Gattuso will certainly be eyeing one of the Champions League spots, but he should arguably be looking at the Europa League as the best means to get Milan back on the path to glory.
Europa League should be respected
The Europa League is obviously the bete noir of football competitions. At times, it seems that clubs don’t want to be in it, yet when it comes to latter stages it can often become of all-consuming importance. Milan should take it seriously right the way through, with more clinical performances needed than the one provided in their opening fixture win against F91 Dudelange.
Milan have been made fourth favourites for the competition with several top bookmakers, coming in at odds of 16/1 with William Hill. Chelsea (4/1), Arsenal (6/1) and Sevilla (12/1) are the only clubs ahead of them. However, it is not enough to be among the favourites on paper, especially when a group containing Olympiakos and Real Betis could prove to be much trickier than it looks. A sustained effort to do well in the competition – even at the early stages – could help galvanise the club going forward.
Milan fans can sometimes forget that, with the exception of Gonzalo Higuain, many of the players currently at the club are not accustomed to consistently winning in Europe. Belief in victory can become a self-fulfilling prophecy in football, but it can only be attained by looking back. It might be small steps for Milan by going all-in at the early stage of the Europa League, but it could prove a massive confidence booster for the players. Indeed, the national team could also profit.
Gattuso: 'AC Milan never in crisis' 7.10 ||webmaster
Gennaro Gattuso had compliments and criticism for various Milan players after a 3-1 victory over Chievo. “It wasn’t a team in crisis before.”
The Rossoneri continued their progress, as Gonzalo Higuain bagged a brace with Jack Bonaventura’s deflected strike, but all three were on Suso assists.
Gonzalo Higuain struck twice and Suso completed a hat-trick of assists for Jack Bonaventura, but 39-year-old Sergio Pellissier got a consolation for Chievo.
Alessio Romagnoli pulled out with a muscular problem, so with Mattia Caldara, Andrea Conti and Ivan Strinic injured, it fell to Cristian Zapata for his first Serie A appearance of the season. Chievo missed Emanuele Giaccherini, Fabrizio Cacciatore, Nenad Tomovic and Filip Djordjevic, so surprisingly gave 39-year-old Sergio Pellissier his first start of 2018.
Milan completed a late comeback to sweep Olympiacos aside 3-1 with Gonzalo Higuain and a brace from substitute Patrick Cutrone.
The Rossoneri had won 1-0 away to Dudelange and wanted to maintain their perfect start to the Europa League group, especially after Sunday’s 4-1 Serie A victory at Sassuolo. Gonzalo Higuain returned from a muscular injury, though Mattia Caldara was still out. While Gennaro Gattuso kept squad rotation to a minimum, Olympiacos changed the entire starting XI that lost to PAOK at the weekend.