Despite there being little to play for, Milan ensured there was a winning end to the Serie A campaign with a 3-0 victory over Cagliari on Saturday night.
With sixth place secured, it was all about pride and finishing on a positive note after a brilliant run of form since the restart and taking that momentum into next season.
We successfully did that, and it raises the optimism and belief in this squad that with the right reinforcements, we can build on this and continue to improve under Stefano Pioli.
That’s now 11 goals in 20 games since he rejoined us in January, and despite now being 38 years of age, he has continued to produce through a relentless fixture schedule, game in and game out.
Aside from the goals, his leadership, creativity and general influence on our attacking play has been a joy to watch in recent months and he has undoubtedly had a big impact on the mentality of the squad as a whole.
It’s hoped that an extension will be agreed so that he’s part of this project for another year at least, but Ibrahimovic has been superb since the restart in particular.
After a couple of shaky outings post lockdown, the youngster has grown in confidence in the last few games as he’s stepped in for captain Alessio Romagnoli.
He has developed a no-nonsense approach in his defending, stayed alert at all times to danger and kept it simple when distributing the ball while also showing more ambition with longer balls at times too.
It has arguably been a huge benefit to him to play alongside veteran Simon Kjaer in the last three games as his guidance and experience will undoubtedly have helped him to mature and learn.
It appears as though Giacomo Bonaventura may have played his last game for us.
The 30-year-old joined us from Atalanta in 2014, and went on to contribute 35 goals and 30 assists in 184 appearances for the club.
As seen in the image below, he appeared to take a moment on the pitch alone after the game, and if that is indeed a farewell, it’s hoped that he gets the chance to come back to San Siro when appropriate to get a proper send off from the fans.
— Milan Talk (@MilanTalk1) August 1, 2020
Perfect way to wrap up season
Milan have been superb since the restart, and it was fitting that we ended the campaign with a win, scoring goals and keeping a clean sheet to pick up another three points.
That’s nine wins and three draws in the 12 post-lockdown games, while we scored 35 goals in those outings. The Rossoneri were also the only unbeaten team in Serie A since the restart.
It was crucial that we didn’t end in disappointing fashion, as we can certainly now take this momentum and confidence into the start of next season and hopefully build on the progress made.
Proud of this Milan
From Stefano Pioli’s influence in moulding and evolving this squad to implement his style of play, mentality and culture, to the players going out and showing real improvement and development in their respective games and also as a collective.
It has been a brilliant effort from all concerned, and not only has it generated more optimism and excitement about what we can achieve moving forward, but there is a sense of being proud of this team and the way in which we’ve turned things around this season and the manner in which we’ve done it.
From Marco Giampaolo’s sacking to that heavy defeat to Atalanta just before Christmas. We’ve had some real lows this season, but we’re now hopefully seeing the real Milan and one that can go from strength to strength next season with Pioli at the helm.