Apr 102021
 

A near first 11 started the game, that in itself a positive in this crazy season.
An excellent team goal arrived early with Calhanoglu passing to Bennacer who in turn found Ibra who controlled the ball well and delivered it to Rebic who shot well to beat Luigi Sepe in Parma goal in midst of a crowd of defenders.
The game settled into a stand off of sorts although Milan looked more fluid and fresh without being able to find the final pass.
Kessie converted another team goal near the end of the half to give a more comfortable 2-0 lead heading into the half. Theo provided the assist to the Ivorian.
The second followed a similar pattern with any final pass missing. The something strange happened. Ibra got a straight red for what was not clear to most watching. If he said something to the ref it would be very ill-advised and pointless with Milan leading by two.
Parma got on the score sheet soon after. Donnarumma complained of being fouled by the goal scorer who had perhaps deserved a second yellow minutes earlier.
Meite and Dalot came on for Bennacer and Saelemaekers. As Milan looked to be losing grip of the game further subs were made as Gabbia and Krunic came on for Kalulu and Calhanoglu. Leao relived Rebic as well late in the game.
The lead had turned into a holding on for a lucky escape type game.
In the final minutes of added time a counter had Dalot taking on the ball, running up and finding an all alone Leao, the latter coolly scored. Parma had pushed forward. And so the full time score was 3-1.

 Posted by on April 10, 2021
Apr 102021
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
20
Kalulu
24
Kjær
23
Tomori
19
Hernandez
79
Kessié
4
Bennacer
56
Saelemaekers
10
Çalhanoğlu
12
Rebić
11
Ibrahimović
Substitutes

The busy run of games has settled into an almost once a week match, of course after exiting Coppa Italia and European competition. This is allowing for some healing on the injury front and more time to duel on the upcoming summer transfer window. Contract negotiations and extensions remain the main point of interest outside of the pitch but with nine matches left and a tight race for the Champions League places each match remain the most important.

Pioli surprised some by fielding Saelemaekers as a right back versus Sampdoria. The Belgian had played that role back in his native land but this was nevertheless an odd decision considering Kalulu and Dalot’s availability. The match ended a poor 1-1 with the rarely seen Hauge scoring late. It was perhaps a lesson for the manager.

The starters for this match at Parma will likely remain more or less the same as week 29, although the aforementioned right back gamble is likely dead. More players are available, to make it to the bench at least. Leao, Diaz and Mandzukic return to the squad and provide depth at least. Kalulu or Dalot will start with Kjaer, Tomori and Hernandez. The latter was responsible for the goal conceded last weekend and needs to return to his 2020 form. Kessie and Bennacer should start in midfield. The latter seemed rusty but will hopefully regain his form as well. Saelemaekers looks to return to his more familiar right wing role with Calhanoglu and Rebic behind Ibra.

Parma are 19th in the Serie A standings. They have a won a league worst 3 games so far. The team features Conti who seems likely to return to Milan from his loan spell unless Parma stave off relegation somehow.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on April 10, 2021
Apr 032021
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
56
Saelemaekers
24
Kjær
23
Tomori
19
Hernandez
79
Kessié
4
Bennacer
7
Castillejo
10
Çalhanoğlu
12
Rebić
11
Ibrahimović
Substitutes

The 2022 World Cup qualifying got underway in the international break. Fourteen Milan players were involved including some for their respective U21 teams. The list included Ibra who returned to the Swedish national team and played 67 and 84 games in two Sweden wins at Kosovo and versus Georgia providing 2 assists.

The team returns to Serie A action still missing several player and a tired Ibra. Calabria, Romagnoli, Mandzukic, Diaz and Leao out. Leao is to be closest to a return and Diaz picked up a knock while away for the Spain U21 team.

The final 10 games will of course define the standings and Milan is still has to win many of the 10 to certify a top 4 spot. Sampdoria kicks off this sprint.

Donnarumma and his controversial contract issue will start in goal. Hernandez, Kjaer and Tomori look to play with Dalot at the back. Late in the week the usual news outlets reported that Saelemaekers will play as a right back. The Belgian will apparently bypass not only Dalot but also Kalulu for the spot. Kessie and Bennacer renew their pairing in the middle behind Castillejo, Calhanoglu and Rebic. Rebic won the appeal of his two game suspension for the red he received versus Napoli and has of course already served the one game at Fiorentina. Calhanoglu was one of the starts of the international break (for Turkey) and if he carries that form can be a catalyst for this final sprint. The aforementioned tired Ibra will start up front.

Sampdoria are led by Fabio Quagliarella with Antonio Candreva also a veteran on the team. Ranieri’s men have 1 win in the last 6 and 3 in the last 10 sitting right at midtable.

Follow this early afternoon match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on April 3, 2021