Week 14: Milan – Lazio
Leao was a record breaker at Sassuolo. Right off kickoff Milan players moved forward and Calhanoglu’s assist to Leao was finished off in under seven seconds. The Portuguese, playing as a more central forward, broke the fastest ever goal in the Serie A. Saelemaekers later added a second after a smart interplay counter featuring Diaz, Tonali and Hernandez. The team was missing Rebic, Ibra, Bennacer and Kjaer yet produced a solid performance to allay fears of a loss versus a dynamic high flying Sassuolo. Another Serie A record was extended with Milan scoring twice in a game, again.
Kessie got a somewhat questionable yellow to rule himself out of this week 14 match versus Lazio. Tonali was substituted at half time in the week 13 match and was feared to miss this game. It is now thought that he could be ready, his possible absence would have meant a true rework of the midfield with the possibility of Calhanoglu or even Calabria lining up in front of a four man defense. Rebic is also in line for a possible return but the team is still without the aforementioned spine and stars of the team.
The defense will continue to feature Calabria, Kalulu, Romagnoli and Hernandez. Kalulu came in line for some praise after being overly criticized for the Genoa game. He is only 20 and has big potential as a left sided defender. Krunic and Tonali should line up behind Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu and Rebic with Leao upfront. If Rebic does not pass the fitness test Diaz is again the likeliest to play. It has seemed that Leao works better as the center forward than a left winger but when both he and Rebic are available Pioli has not really agreed. This may be finally changing.
After this game there is an 11 day holiday break. Milan return to action on January 3rd with a visit to Benevento and the winter transfer market opens the day after. Maldini and the management team will have to address the shortcomings that despite the added depth has the team scrambling, in defense in particular.
Lazio, as always led by Ciro Immobile, sit in eighth place and haven’t had the best start to the season but did beat Napoli 2-0 in week 13.
Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.