Champions League: AC Milan’s win and clean sheet is a step in the right direction for Stefano Pioli’s side
MILAN — Milan managed to win 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of the 1/8 finals of the UEFA Champions League (see all your actions in the Champions League on Paramount+) and for the first time since the break in the World Cup they won two games in a row. The Rossoneri have been coming out of a terrible slump since the start of the year, and until tonight, Stefano Pioli’s men have only won two since January, first against Salernitana January 4th and then against Turin last Friday. In the meantime, they tied with AS Roma And Lecce and lost against Lazio, Sassuolo And Inter Milan. Pioli’s side also lost to Torino in the round of 16 of the Coppa Italia and to Inter Milan in the Italian Super Cup final in Riyadh.
Their main problem this stretch was their defense, but it looks like Pioli found a way to get things back on track with a change of tactics. In fact, after losing the Derby della Madonnina, they play with a three-man defense, which gives the Rossoneri much more defensive power. Before Friday’s game, Milan had conceded 13 goals in four matches, including a 5-2 home defeat to Sassuolo, and after that tactical change they conceded only once against Inter Milan before going to a clean sheet twice against ” Torino and Tottenham.
It’s definitely too early to find out if they’re already out of the crisis, but it looks like they’re on the mend with a new tactical system that provides much more safety for defenders and midfielders alike. As shown by their average position on Tuesday when it works, they are perfectly balanced and safe.
against Tottenham, Malik Tio played at the start for the fourth time this season and the second match in a row and proved to be a good decision, especially since the three central defenders played together. He should have played instead Simon Kierbut after a last-minute injury Fikayo Tomori he played together with a Danish player and Pierre Kalulu. It is likely that coach Pioli will give Thiaou much more playing time in the coming weeks after Tuesday’s performance.
AC Milan doing better with key player, goalkeeper Mike Menyan which is expected to return this month. On the other side, Raphael Leo he still needs to adapt to this new system as he has been asked to step back and take a more central position in addition to his regular touches to help the team when they are also defending. There is a feeling that if he quickly adapts to this new way of playing, Milan will indeed return to their usual form. Against the Spurs, he clearly adapted and kept deep to engage himself in the build-up, as his touch map shows, but he also only had one total shot in the match. Balancing these needs will be the key to whether he succeeds in this system.
The road is still long, but Pioli and Milan fans can now look to the future with a positive attitude.