Reza

Jan 152021
 

Soualiho Meïte arrives from Torino on a cheap 6 months loan with an option to extend it for around €9 million.

The midfielder has scored once and assisted once in 11 starts this season. His position is listed as a defensive midfielder though on occasion in his career he has been a right sided one. His main strengths are reading of the game and in the air.

Player Summary
Name:
Soualiho Meïté
Date of Birth:
Mar 17, 1994
Age:
26
Height:
1.87 m
Citizenship:
France
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
AC Milan
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2021
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Jan 15, 2021

It is expected that Meite will be a back up when the time is right for Kessie to get some much needed rest.

 Posted by on January 15, 2021
Jan 122021
 
Milan beats Torino 5-4 in a shootout

A much changed Milan team that however included Ibra in the starting 11 needed a shootout to beat Torino.
The round of 16 Coppa Italia match is certainly not the highest priority. Kessie, Calhanoglu, Theo and Gianluigi Donnarumma started on the bench. The former three took some part in the gamer despite rest being very much needed. The latter got sent off while on the bench with the referee once again in the thick of things.
Torino were generally poor and Milan had some bad luck with three posts and poor missed by Diaz in particular. Leao missed a good chance close up to Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, the Torino goalkeeper.
Primavera player Giacomo Olzer made his senior debut and in the few minutes looked lively, the man of the match though was Pierre Kalulu who started in his more familiar right back role.
Tatarusanu saved Tomas Rincon’s penalty and Milan converted all five to advance and will meet either Inter or Fiorentina in the Coppa quarter finals.


Franck Kessie 1 – 1 Andrea Belotti
Theo Hernandez 2 – 2 Sasa Lukic
Sandro Tonali 3 – 3 Lyanco
Alessio Romagnoli 4 – 3 Tomas Rincon X
Hakan Calhanoglu 5 – 4 Vanja Milinkovic-Savic

 Posted by on January 12, 2021
Jan 092021
 

The absentees made for a long list but Ibra returned to the bench. Calhangolu was expected to be out with an ankle problem but made the bench too.
Early minutes possession was all Milan with Diaz and Hauge looking livelier than recent appearances.
The domination led to an opening goal by Leao. In the 25th minute Theo accelerated with the ball, passed to Diaz who in turn made a one touch pass to Leao running down the middle. Torino’s three man defense was breached.
Milan doubled the lead in the 36th minute. Diaz ran into the box on Torino’s left side, Andrea Belotti made some contact with the Spaniard. A Lengthy VAR review and pitch monitor review gave the penalty for Milan. Kessie cooly converted to make it 2-0.
In one of the few forays into Milan’s half Torino were awarded with a free kick for a Romagnoli foul. Former Milan player and free kick taker hit the cross bar with a very well hit ball.
Salvatore Sirigu made a very good save to deny Kessie in first half added time. Milan had made a quick counter.
Early in the second a penalty was given to Torino, a monitor check showed that there was no foul and indeed it was Tonali who had gotten kicked in the calf. The young Italian was replaced with Dalot which meant Calabria reprised his midfield role.
In a surprise move Calhanoglu came on for Diaz. The Spaniard had been playing well but may have withdrawn as a precaution.
Torino got a bit more into the game. In the final 10 minutes Leao was yellow carded for an apparent dive(?), it looked anything but. Leao will miss the Cagliari match for yellow accumulation. The Portuguese was then replaced with Ibra returning to action.
In current terms this was a relatively comfortable 2-0 win.

 Posted by on January 9, 2021
Jan 092021
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
13
Romagnoli
19
Hernandez
8
Tonali
79
Kessié
7
Castillejo
21
Díaz
15
Hauge
17
Leão
Substitutes

The 27 match league unbeaten streak dating back to Spring 2020 is over. An injury and COVID-19 affected team couldn’t contain Federico Chiesa and Juventus and succumbed 3-1. The make shift team included Calabria as a midfielder fought well at times but Juventus were too good and took advantage of some questionable defending as well. The referee’s influence was apparent of course and both teams’ fans had a lot to say about calls and non-calls.

How the team rebounds will give further indications on the state of team that surprised and surpassed all expectations in 2020. The injury issue is still very much in effect. Although Ibra is back in the squad it is perhaps not wise to count on him for this week 17 match. Calhanoglu developed an ankle problem after the Juve match and while he is also in the squad his status is not certain in the hours leading up to the match. The rest of the absentees are either few days or in Gabbia’s case weeks away.

Donnarumma, Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli and Theo will be starters of course. The latter two were caught out by Chiesa, Paulo Dybala and Juve and need to get back to form. Tonali returns from his one game suspension and allows Calabria to move back to his usual spot. Kessie will partner the young Italian. Diaz, Hauge, Castillejo will start behind Leao. If Calhanoglu is somehow ready he will be in this spot. The Turkish international had good moments versus Juventus drifting left and exchanging positions with Hauge. The Norwegian hasn’t shone whenever he has gotten minutes in recent weeks but like most young players new to Serie A that is not unexpected. Leao had a good week 16 first half but faded in the second.

This will be Marco Giampaolo’s first meeting with Milan since his departure in the fall of 2019. His team is relatively healthy and while Torino remain relegation threatened (17th and only three points ahead of 20th placed Crotone) they haven’t lost in their last four Serie A games (1 win, 3 times).
The two teams will meet again in three days for the Coppa Italia round of 16 matchup.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on January 9, 2021
Jan 062021
 

A game under the shadow of the pandemic with two players missing from each team – Rebic and Krunic for Milan and Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro for Juve. Ibra, Gabbia, Bennacer and Saelemaekers still out injured for Milan while Alvaro Morata was out for Juve. Pioil opted to use Calabria as Kessie’s midfield partner and Dalot started at right back.
Early minutes featured missed half chances by Paulo Dybala and Hauge and others in an open game.
Chiesa came closest hitting the post in the 16th minute.
Good movement and pressure paid off for the visitors as an interchange between Chiesa and Dybala ended with the former opening the score. Theo and Romagnoli were outplayed. Juve and Chiesa in particular, were in good form.
Leao came closest on several occasions with Calhanoglu moving wide to provide crosses and chances while Hauge drifting more centrally behind Leao. As Milan seemed to take at least some control the tying goal came. Milan won the ball up the pitch – Juve players felt Calhanoglu had fouled Rabiot and there was a short VAR check – then Leao crossed the ball to Calabria who shot well under the crossbar as Wojciech Szczesny was rooted to his spot.
The second half started more quietly with both teams looking more settled. However Juve took the lead again with a good Chiesa strike. Theo could have done better again, so too Romagnoli. The game went back to a more chaotic up and down state with fouls and non fouls and half chances. Juventus added their third with Weston McKennie finishing Dejan Kulusevski’s short cross in close range. Both Juve subs. Milan’s left sided defenders were once again in the thick of it.
Changes were made as all of Maldini, Colombo and Diaz came on but not a lot was created.
The absentees and defensive lapses caught up to Milan as the unbeaten streak ended.

 Posted by on January 6, 2021
Jan 062021
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
13
Romagnoli
19
Hernandez
10
Çalhanoğlu
79
Kessié
7
Castillejo
21
Díaz
15
Hauge
17
Leão
Substitutes

Week 15 was hectic and eventful. Playing a Benevento team that has been improving and winning points was to present a challenge. Being without several first team players added to the test. Penalties, non penalties, a penalty miss and red made for an unforgettable game. In the end the 2-0 win extended Milan’s time at the top of the table and extended the record of scoring two goals or more to 17 games.

Playing the defending Serie A champions is another proposition. The Juventus team is a changed one from its previous seasons. With a novice coach at the helm and a somewhat younger team the team hasn’t been the most convincing but seem to be close to finding form. Obviously the team is off the pace in the standings in 5th place and 10 points behind Milan, though with a game in hand.

On the day of the match news arrived that Rebic and Krunic have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self isolating. Milan are still missing Ibra, Bennacer, Gabbia and Saelemaekers. Kjaer made a welcome return at Benevento and was a solid leader. Somewhat foolishly Tonali got himself suspended from this week 16 encounter with a red. The midfield if ofcourse lacking in personnel and the most likely option alongside Kessie is Calhanoglu. There are other options and one is pushing Calabria to that position and letting Conti or Dalot play as right backs. Diaz started as a nominal right winger versus Benevento but wasn’t impressive so it is likely that Castillejo will reclaim his spot. This would be with Rebic and Calhanoglu lining up behind Leao but with the virus affecting the team again Diaz and Hauge are very likely to get starts. Calhanoglu was chosen as the Serie A player for the month for December and in the midst of contract talks could yet receive a big raise from his current €2.5 million per season salary. Leao scored a great goal to give Milan the 2-0 lead but needs to be more present and hard working for the whole 90.

Speaking of contract talks. The Donnarumma situation keeps dragging on and despite numerous reports of an imminent signature his agent keeps pushing things back. The player himself has professed his love for Milan but it hasn’t translated to action off the pitch. Fortunately the love has been very evident on the pitch. In front of the young goalie Theo will make a welcome return from his one game suspension.

On Juventus’ side, on Monday it was revealed that Alex Sandro has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this game, it was further revealed that Juan Cuadrado has tested positive as well. There are some calls for caution and postponement of this game but it is likely to go on and Juventus will also miss Alvaro Morata with a thigh muscle issue.

Follow the game as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on January 6, 2021
Jan 052021
 

With Moncada at the scouting helm Milan are looking at the ever plentiful crop of French prospects and the latest is Kouadio Koné.

Player Summary
Name:
Kouadio Koné
Date of Birth:
May 7, 2001
Age:
19
Height:
1.85 m
Citizenship:
France
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
Toulouse
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2022
Current Club:
Toulouse
Joined:
Jul 1, 2019

The midfielder is somewhat a regular starter for Toulouse with the team currently in Ligue 2. The 2001 class player has featured for the French U19 and U18 levels as well.

He is an aggressive well built for his age midfielder who covers a lot of space well defensively. He seems to do well in one on one situations and tackles but has a lot of growing to do in learning to avoid mistakes and cards. His stamina is above average.

Various reports suggest his team want upwards of €10 million for him. It is a somewhat questionable amount for a second tier player in general.

 Posted by on January 5, 2021
Jan 032021
 

The teams still missed many important players but Kjaer made a welcome return.
Benevento showed why they are an improving team, Pippo has the team running and working hard.
Benevento had a penalty shout denied and moments later Milan got a penalty for a coming together in the box. Perhaps both cases were debatable.
Kessie converted for an early Milan lead but minutes later a Tonali’s high leg – but no studs – had the ref checking the pitch side monitor and sent the young Italian off.
Diaz was taken off and Krunic came on for a more balanced 10.
The first half criticism remained that Milan were outplayed with Leao in particular not contributing as much as can be expected. To almost everybody’s surprise the Portuguese scored a highlight goal early in the second for a 2-0 lead. A counter was not dealt with properly and Leao just beat the onrushing goalie and shot from a sharp angle into the far corner.
Later Krunic brought down the man in the box but Gianluca Caprari shot the ensuing penalty wide.
Roberto Insigne and Gianluca Lapadula created chances and trouble for Milan but were unable to finish or beat the excellent Donnarumma. Kessie and Calhanoglu hit the Benevento post as well.
In the end Milan escaped with another 2 goals, for 17 matches in a row, and will definitely take the three points and shut out in advance of a midweek game versus Juventus.

 Posted by on January 3, 2021
Jan 032021
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
13
Romagnoli
5
Dalot
8
Tonali
79
Kessié
21
Díaz
10
Çalhanoğlu
12
Rebić
17
Leão
Substitutes

The week 14 match at Lazio ended with a sensational last second Theo header that allowed Milan to stay on top of Serie A. The mood to end 2020 was in stark contrast to how 2019 ended after the humiliating defeat to Atalanta that December. Milan’s record of scoring more than two goals in a game was therefore extended. Milan enter 2021 with an enviable 2020 calendar year record of played 48, won 32, tied 13 and lost only 3.

The injuries are still a concern but at least another stat is an important indicator of the growth of the team in that Milan have managed to keep winning without Ibra in the line up. The Swede will miss another few days with the calf problem. There is relief in Kjaer’s availability but Bennacer, Saelemaekers, Gabbia remain out. The former two may be ready to return by the second half of January and the fixture list needs all of them. January features seven (or possibly eight including the Coppa Italia quarter finals) matches, again.

Bet on the Italian Seria A with PlayOjo, one of the top betting sites.

A busy January awaits Milan
@ Benevento 18:00 January 3 2021
vs Juventus 20:45 January 6 2021
vs Torino 20:45 January 9 2021
vs Torino 20:45 January 12 2021 (Coppa Italia round of 16)
@ Cagliari 20:45 January 18 2021
vs Atalanta 18:00 January 23 2021
@ Bologna 15:00 January 2021


The back four will be missing one of the top stars of 2020 as Theo has accumulated yellows and is suspended. Dalot is the back up to play along side Romagnoli, Kjaer and Calabria. Kessie returns from the same yellow suspension to line up with Tonali behind what looks like a Rebic, Calhanoglu and Diaz trio. Castillejo is not 100% and is to start on the bench. Leao will start up front as he did versus Lazio.

Back in 2017-2018 Benevento were making their Serie A debut and had reached December with exactly zero points. While breaking a Serie A record of 14 consecutive losses they managed a last second point courtesy of their goalkeeper and Juventus loanee Alberto Brignoli. Later that season they beat Milan 1-0 while on their way to getting relegated. This earned them a bogey team title. This season, under the guidance of Filippo Inzaghi, the Stregoni are a different team and currently sit midtable.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on January 3, 2021