Milan secured a hard-fought 2-1 win over Chievo on Saturday night, with goals from Lucas Biglia and Krzysztof Piatek sealing all three points.
The Rossoneri were poor in the first half in truth, as they struggled to put any quality of note together in the final third to suggest that they would make easy work of Chievo.
Instead, it took a moment of absolute class from Biglia to break the deadlock with a wonderful free-kick, while Piatek pounced in the second half to secure the win which keeps us in third place in the Serie A table ahead of the Derby della Madonnina.
Here are five things we can take away from the win over Chievo:
Romagnoli is different class
It’s easy to focus on the stand-out players such as Biglia and Piatek, but our captain produced another assured and dominant performance at the back.
From reading the game brilliantly to winning aerial battles and remaining composed and calm to win back possession and play the ball forward, the 24-year-old is quietly going about his business and is doing so in style.
Having cut out the mistakes and lapses of concentration, Romagnoli is undoubtedly on a different level.
Biglia is back
Aside from his brilliant goal, the Argentine stalwart was immense in the heart of the midfield throughout the encounter.
The placement and dip on his free-kick will steal the headlines, but Biglia has put his injury nightmare behind him to now stake his claim to remain in the starting line-up at the expense of the in-form Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Having competition for places isn’t a bad thing though, but from his defensive coverage to pass completion and the goal, Biglia was simply exceptional.
Milan were poor in the first half, as we didn’t look a threat for the most part and left Piatek too isolated, which made it easy for Chievo to nullify our attack.
However, the introduction of Hakan Calhanoglu in the second half was key, as although he didn’t have a decisive impact, he improved our general play and gave us a different dynamic in the final third.
That led to the pressure being applied prior to Piatek’s goal, and so the Turkish international’s influence can’t be downplayed.
As mentioned above, the Polish forward struggled to make an impact as he was too isolated and rarely received any quality service to put him in a position to add to his goalscoring tally.
However, he showed his class again as he constantly remains on his toes and was alert enough to pounce on the chance in the second half to secure the win.
It’s difficult for any lone frontman to avoid becoming frustrated if he’s not involved in the game. Piatek though is always active, and is ready to snap up a chance if it’s presented to him.
Conti not quite there yet
Milan weren’t at their best in general, but Andrea Conti struggled in particular as he failed to emerge as a genuine attacking threat and was caught out defensively on multiple occasions.
That was never more obvious than for Chievo’s goal, as his poor attempt to challenge for the cross and stay with his marker led to the equaliser.
While he has impressed since making his comeback from injury, this was the first game in which he looked off the pace and lacking some sharpness. With that in mind, Gattuso will have to continue to ease him back in over the coming weeks with Davide Calabria surely in line to start against Inter.