Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What Milan’s Smackdown of Bayern Munich Reveals

Luca D'Amico-Wong in Editorial, Serie A 24 Jul 2017

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Bayern vs milan

Milan routed Bayern in the International Champions Cup. What can we decipher from the victory? Image: ReplaySports.com

Milan came out of Shenzhen with their heads held high after beating Bayern 4-0 in the International Champions Cup. Let’s take a look at what we can take from the impressive victory.

New Signings Shine

It was a day to forget for the Bavarians as Milan’s new signings dazzled (okay, maybe not Borini). Ricardo Rodriguez recovered from a pretty poor game against Ousmane Dembele, assisting twice and containing Kingsley Coman well. Franck Kessie continued his impressive preseason, scoring a goal, and using his strong physique and intelligent play to dominate the midifield. He’s been Milan’s best performer by far this preseason, and he looks like an incredible young talent, starting right where he left off at Atalanta.

Calhanoglu also deserves his fair share of praise, scoring a wonderful driven shot from outside the box. He proved that contrary to popular opinion, he is not just a free-kick merchant. Andre Silva, Bonucci, Conti, and Musacchio had decent stints, although there wasn’t much for them to do for most of the 90 minutes, the first three being substituted on in the second half. It was a great performance from Milan, due heavily to their new signings.

Who Needs Kalinic?

Patrick Cutrone, Milan Primavera player, displayed his class, scoring a wonderful pair of goals in Milan’s victory. Niang was also a pleasant surprise, arguably the best on the pitch. The Frenchman created most of Milan’s chances, and he always looked dangerous. Which begs the question: do Milan really need Kalinic?

Sure, Kalinic will provide some relief to Andre Silva as an experienced Serie A forward, but Cutrone and Niang can both play in that same position, and if Fiorentina refuse to budge on their asking fee, I’m not so sure it would be worth it to bring the Croatian in.

What is left to be seen now is where Cutrone and Niang will go. Cutrone could and probably should go out on loan to get more playing time, but Niang’s situation is more complicated. The Frenchman’s exit has been rumored for quite a while now, but this performance showed what he can really do, and with so many years ahead of him, he could be destined to have a bright future.

Are Milan Really Back?

Sure, it was a friendly, but Milan looked deadly. Their play was fluid, they were able to initiate attacks. No more passes directly to the opposition, no more defensive miscommunication. They played great football for 90 minutes, scoring four goals, and shutting out one of the best teams in the world. Keep in mind that there should be more signings to come and that the team hasn’t had enough time to gel yet.

If they played this well so early, who knows what Montella can create in the remaining time he has to prepare the squad. They did beat Bayern last year in the ICC, but their performance wasn’t nearly as impressive, winning 3-3 after penalties. Whether you take this friendly seriously or not, Milan are looking as though they can challenge the best of the best.

 

Milan were impressive in their 4-0 rout, but we have to remember that it was just a friendly. Their matchup against Craiova will show whether they’re ready or not, but based on this friendly, it seems like they are. As a Milan fan, I deeply hope that they are, but who knows?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luca D'Amico-Wong


Writer for Various Blogs including The AC Milan Offside on SBNation, Courtside Watch, Forza Italian Football, Clash Royale Tactics, and Soccer News. Loves AC Milan and Roger Federer. Avid football and video game fan who loves to travel. Will find blogging about football and video games in his free time.

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