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Week 36 gave us all a rare easy win. Beating 19th placed Verona 4-1 – and in the process condemning them to Serie B football for 2018-2019 – was not automatic considering that this Milan had lost to Benevento weeks earlier, one was entitled to be pessimistic. Calhanoglu scored the opener and has been regaining some of the form many wish to see more often. Abate scored a nice and very rare goal as well, even Borini got into the act. The rise in fortunes didn’t last long though.
Midweek was the Coppa Final vs Juventus and the small amount of optimism of four days earlier evaporated rather quickly. Aided by the referee, who for example blew for half time instead of allowing a Milan free kick to proceed, Milan crumbled once again. Donnarumma didn’t catch the ball for one goal and pretty much dropped the ball for another to come out of the game with most of the blame. Juventus won the second half thoroughly after Milan had an ok first half where a few half chances were squandered. The 4-0 loss had most in disbelief and anger levels towards all of players and management rose again. The upcoming summer test for the management and indeed the ownership is as high as last year. Such has Milan fallen (again) that a win vs Atalanta is required to earn a chance at Europa League football next season.
The team must approach the Atalanta game as crucial and not perpetuate the seemingly eternal weak mentality issue. Gattuso is already eying the summer transfer market and has mentioned the need for depth and quality.
The likelihood that Gattuso will use Kalinic again seems real and therefore fans are entitled to wonder if Gattuso should even be the coach next season. Other spots on the 4-3-3 are somewhat stable with the only real rotation being Abate or Calabria. A veteran line up seems to be the choice for the last two matches of the season. The veteran lineup will include Biglia who recovered from a back problem much quicker than anticipated and announced.