Milan made it back-to-back wins this weekend as they secured a 3-2 victory over Bologna on Sunday night to move up to 10th place in the Serie A table.
It’s all about building momentum for the Rossoneri ahead of the winter break, and after sealing all three points against Parma last weekend, they had a chance to claim another important win at Bologna.
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Goals from Krzysztof Piatek, Theo Hernandez and Giacomo Bonaventura got the job done, although there was a relatively nervy finish as Bologna fought their way back into it. Fortunately though we were able to hold on, and attention will now switch to Sassuolo next weekend.
Sloppy play defensively, impressive going forward
Milan made a sloppy start to the game as they looked rushed in possession and gave up the ball far too easily whether it was through misplaced passes or showing a lack of composure, particularly in the defensive third.
However, they did improve as the game went on as we settled into it and raised the tempo of our play. Further, there were more positive signs of seeing short, sharp passing movements that we’ve seen a lot of since Stefano Pioli took charge and there’s more quality on display when that kicks in.
It was crucial to secure the win and keep climbing the table, but while there were certainly positives to take from the encounter, there were also clear areas in which we must still improve to now maintain our improved form.
Piatek needs to use key contribution as catalyst
From winning the penalty to then stepping up and converting it, Piatek made a crucial impact on the game in the first half and it looked like it could kick him into life.
Although there was still a lack of a genuine goal threat in the final third from the 24-year-old, what he did show which was impressive was an improved ability to hold up play and bring others into the game while winning aerial battles.
If he can continue to be involved in play and help the team as a whole, that will add a different dynamic to his game. However, he must use his penalty as a catalyst to start finding the back of the net with more regularity as that’s ultimately his priority as our frontman.
Suso shows his class
Having often been critical of the Spaniard, it’s time to give credit where it’s due for the assist that he provided for Theo Hernandez.
That is a glimpse of the quality that he possesses, and perhaps that is another reason why it’s so easy to grow frustrated with him when he doesn’t show it as regularly as we need him to, and as often as his role in the side demands it.
That moment aside, it was a tidy performance from Suso albeit arguably a little too quiet at times as the game went on, but we must see more of that from him moving forward to unlock defences and make the impact we know he’s capable of making.
Kessie no longer certain starter
The combative midfield ace produced a solid display as he showed his physicality and good work-rate defensively to give us a foothold in the game.
However, whether it was a poor first touch or a lack of a decisive impact in the final third when running into dangerous situations, his inability to be more decisive going forward surely asks the question if he should be starting ahead of Rade Krunic.
The summer signing can offer similar defensive attributes in midfield albeit perhaps not as impactful as Kessie, but his technical quality and composure on the ball would have made him a more influential presence for us and it could be a similar scenario moving forward.
If Pioli persists with Hakan Calhanoglu on the left wing and Bonaventura on the left of the midfield three, perhaps starting Lucas Paqueta on the right against sides we expect to dominate possession could be an alternative option.
New contract needed for Bonaventura
That’s now two goals in three starts for Jack, and if he continues this form and the influence that he’s having on the team currently, it surely makes it a no-brainer to secure a contract renewal with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
Aside from the goals, it’s his overall influence on the team with his intelligence and quality he offers in midfield on and off the ball which must be appreciated too.
There is little doubt that he is having a crucial impact on he side since he recovered from his injury and is now starting to get regular playing time. Long may it continue with a contract offer waiting for him in the not too distant future as he’s certainly playing his way into convincing the hierarchy to put one on the table.