Monday, December 11, 2017

AC Milan 0 – 2 AS Roma: Four Things We Learned

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AS Roma travelled to San Siro and completed a good performance on their way to a huge 2-0 win over AC Milan. Roma looked impressive on both ends of the pitch and fully deserved the three points, while Milan once again looked underwhelming despite having one of the best squads in the entire league.

Here are four things we learned from this thrilling match on Sunday.

AS Roma Needed Five Minutes To Dispatch AC Milan

The first half was quite balanced, as both teams looked positive and threatening. But Roma always had a bit of dominance. They generated the best scoring chances and always looked like the more composed team. But they were forced to wait until the second half to translate that dominance into the score.

As it turns out, Roma only needed five minutes to build a lead they would never relinquish. First it was Edin Dzeko who found the back of the net in the 72nd minute following an assist from Lorenzo Pellegrini. And Roma added a second five minutes later, when Alessandro Florenzi took advantage of a rebound to make it 2-0.

Roma’s Solution Was On The Bench

Roma ended winning the game thanks to the two second-half goals previously mentioned. But Pellegrini’s impact on the game was bigger than just the assist on Edin Dzeko’s strike. The talented midfielder dictated the tempo of the side, and was one of the best players on the pitch. He filled the stat sheet as well, as he ended the game with two key passes, one cross, two shots and three clearances. To make things even better, he also completed 91% of his passes.

The former Sassuolo is only 21 years old, but shows maturity and poise beyond his years. Right now it will be tough for him to become a regular starter for Roma, but he is certainly on the right track. And as he evidenced today, he has enough talent to replace Kevin Strootman who, in his own right, is one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the entire Serie A.

Fans Should Not Criticise Vincenzo Montella…Yet

It is quite easy to understand the frustration from Milan fans. The team was extremely active during the transfer market, and managed to complete a massive overhaul to the squad. The arrivals of players such as Nikola Kalinic, Leonardo Bonucci, Ricardo Rodriguez and Hakan Calhanoglu instantly transformed them into a potential title contender. But the results haven’t been there yet. And after seven games, Milan sit in a disappointing seventh position. They have four wins and three defeats, with 10 goals scored and 10 conceded.

This is clearly not what the management had in mind when they acquired so many talented players. But Vincenzo Montella needs a bit more time. It is never easy to assemble a whole new team from one year to another, and especially when almost the entire starting XI is composed with new players. It would be different if there were 15 or 20 matches played already. But Milan have not even reached 10 league games this season. They are on the right track, but they need to keep working to reach the levels many experts predicted before the start of the season.

There’s A Sizable Gap Between Both Teams

Ultimately, Milan have performed below the pre-season expectations, but that was always a possibility considering all the new players that joined the team during the summer. And while both squads feature a similar amount in terms of talent, there is still a sizable gap between both clubs since Roma have continuity and Milan remain a work in progress.

The capitol-based side have been playing with the same system and a steady core of players during the past few years, while Milan signed more than 10 players during the summer and are also adjusting their tactic to a 3-5-2. Those things matter, and today was he best proof.

Match Report

AC Milan: Donnarumma (5); Musacchio (5), Bonucci (6), Romagnoli (5); Borini (6) (Bonaventura (-), 84′), Kessie (5), Biglia (6), Calhanoglu (4), Rodriguez (5); Kalinic (6) (Cutrone (-), 79′), Andre Silva (7)

AS Roma: Allison (7); Bruno Peres (6), Manolas (7) (Juan Jesus (-), 86′), Fazio (7), Kolarov (5); Nainggolan (7), De Rossi (6), Strootman (6) (Pellegrini (8), 30′); Florenzi (7), Dzeko (7), El Shaarawy (5) (Gerson (-), 78′)

Goals: 1-0, Dzeko (72′); 2-0, Florenzi (77′)

Referee: Luca Banti

Yellow Cards: Calhanoglu, Biglia (MIL), Dzeko (ROM)

Red Cards: Calhanoglu (MIL)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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