Milan continued their stunning form since the restart this weekend with a 5-1 win over Bologna at San Siro as our pursuit of Europa League qualification continues.
The Rossoneri were brilliant for the opening 40 minutes and we fully deserved our lead, but a temporary dip just before the break gave Bologna a lifeline as they scored minutes before half-time.
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Fortunately though, we showed a positive mentality to come out on the front foot immediately in the second half, and it resulted in a comprehensive win as our impressive run goes on but with two tough tests coming next against Sassuolo and Atalanta.
Sensational attacking form since restart
While Milan managed just 28 goals in 26 Serie A games before the coronavirus lockdown, we’ve now scored a sensational 25 goals in just eight league games since the restart.
Key players are now playing at a high level, but it’s the work that is being done on the training ground at Milanello which is shining through now as collectively we’re producing some excellent build-up play to break teams down.
That was never more evident than during the win over Bologna, as we constantly carved them open with swift and intricate passing to create opportunities, and importantly, we’re showing a real clinical edge to our play in front of goal and putting those chances away.
Each player has a role to play both individually and as part of the team, and they’re looking much more comfortable and confident in the way Pioli has set things up.
Approach, attitude and mentality spot on
It would have come as no surprise if Milan had come out in the second half and retreated into their shell having become panicked and nervous after conceding just before half-time.
The pressure of having to defend our lead would have led to a hesitant and negative performance in the past, but the change in our mentality was clear in this game as we came out after the break and looked to get on the front foot immediately.
That in turn helped us stretch our lead once again, and so the approach, attitude and mentality of the group is certainly changing and developing during this fine run of form and under Pioli’s stewardship.
Relentless but smart pressing
While we arguably got it wrong in the first half against Parma last time out, we got it spot on this time round. Milan played at a high tempo and pressed with intensity and urgency as we gave Bologna no time to settle.
We won possession back quickly and were immediately on the attack, and they struggled to cope with that either side of the blip where they found an equaliser.
A key component behind why we were able to be so dominant in the game was our relentless pressing but we did it in a smart and methodical manner to cut down their attacks in key areas of the pitch without burning ourselves out.
Naturally, it will still have taken a toll on the players and they’ll have to recover quickly ahead of our trip to Sassuolo on Tuesday, but it was another top effort from all concerned.
Bennacer off the mark
One of the most pleasing moments of this game was to see Ismael Bennacer score his first goal for Milan, and he marked it in style with a superbly composed finish.
The Algerian international has been the heartbeat of the side for months now and has undoubtedly cemented himself as a pillar of the XI moving forward.
Seemingly the only thing missing was his first goal for the Rossoneri, and it finally came this weekend as he continues to grow and develop under Pioli, like many other key players around him.
Pioli gets it right again
Milan made four changes from the win over Parma, and Pioli is showing great decision-making and man-management to rotate the squad but not allow our level to drop.
Further, he rested key individuals in the second half as we stretched our lead, and these are perhaps minor points in such an impressive win but they shouldn’t be missed out as we’ve still got four more tough games to come.
From his tactical decisions to his management of his players, the Italian tactician has done a superb job since the restart and it’s hoped that it helps us last the course to continue our excellent current form in the remaining fixtures.