Milan produced a positive performance against Juventus in Turin on Sunday night, but it mattered little as they returned home empty-handed.
A second-half goal from substitute Paulo Dybala was all that separated the two sides, as although the Rossoneri looked good in the opening 45 minutes, albeit on a below-par night for Juventus , they couldn’t take advantage.
Predictably, our inability to make the most of being on top eventually saw us pay the price as Juve showed the quality needed in the final third to make the difference, and so our troubles this season continue.
Painfully predictable outcome
Milan undoubtedly made a really positive start to the game, with Krzysztof Piatek missing a great early chance to put us ahead and make the most of being on top early on.
It was clearly following a familiar script though as we failed to take our chance and kill the game against a poor Juve who eventually showed that bit of quality needed in the final third to take the game away from us.
It was horribly predictable, and it’s another ruthless lesson for our players to learn especially against the top sides that if we don’t strike while we’re on top, it will likely cost us later on.
Positive signs in Milan performance
That said, it was another good performance from the Rossoneri as they showed positive intent and played at a high tempo on and off the ball to cause Juventus problems and arguably force their mistakes to an extent.
As we pressed with intensity and moved the ball quickly forward, it was clearly a game-plan and approach put in place by Stefano Pioli, and so it’s an improvement and a clear sign of progress.
That said, unless we start turning those positives into tangible results and points, it’s going to count for little as we’re down the table and miles off our objective this season.
Good bounce back game for Conti
The 25-year-old has had a rough time so far this season as he continues to try and rediscover the quality that he showed before his injury nightmare struck.
Fortunately, we saw him bounce back from those struggles on Sunday with a solid defensive display up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Alex Sandro, while he was also more efficient on the ball at times too.
The priority for Conti at this stage is to get the basics rights and that starts with his defending, and perhaps with more minutes under his belt, he’s now starting to shake off the rust and get back into the swing of things.
Pioli must fix goal-shy frontline
Just 11 goals in 12 Serie A games tell the story as we are simply not good enough in the final third this season which is costing us and puts the pressure on our defence.
Whether it’s Piatek missing chances or a lack of creativity either side of him or from midfield, there simply isn’t enough of a threat in front of goal in this team.
Perhaps we need the pace, directness and goal threat offered by the likes of Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic down the flanks on a permanent basis to give us a different dynamic in the final third. The most likely outcome though is that Pioli will stick with the same formula, albeit Hakan Calhanoglu is suspended against Napoli and so there will be at least one change.
Bennacer puts in performance to cement his place in XI
While he took risks and made some mistakes in possession, the Algerian international is showing the quality and composure needed to be the heartbeat of our midfield.
The midfield in general worked well again with Rade Krunic and Lucas Paqueta either side of him, but from his ability to offer protection in front of the defence to his quick-thinking and passing range to get us going forward, it’s an ideal combination.
It’s arguably fair to predict that we’ll see just how important he’s becoming for this side with his absence when we play Napoli after the international break as he’s suspended. However, there is surely less and less doubt now that he’s the answer in the heart of the midfield ahead of Lucas Biglia.