AC Milan managed to come away with all three points against Roma on Friday evening, as Patrick Cutrone scored the winner in the 95th minute, coming off the bench in the second half. Here are five things we learned from the performance.
1. Stunning teamwork, fantastic display
For the first in a very long time, the team managed to get all the details right, dominating a majority of the game. Unlike against Napoli, Milan looked secure in their way of playing out from the back, which is a relieving sign for many fans.
Even when Roma equalised, Milan immediately tried to bounce back, continuing to start attack after attack. In fact, just a few minutes after Fazio’s strike, Higuain gave his new side the lead, although the goal was ruled out by VAR for offside. Eventually, though, the Rossoneri got their winner as Higuain assisted Cutrone in the last seconds.
2. Higuain crucial for this team
He was brought in mainly for scoring goals, but Higuain has proved to be so much more important for Gattuso’s side. Last season, the Rossoneri struggled to keep hold of the ball in tricky situations up front, but Higuain has proved that he is more than capable of dropping down to offer support, thanks to his composed technique.
Yesterday, even though he wasn’t on the scoresheet, he was surely one of the best players on the pitch. In the end, he was also decisive as he assisted Cutrone with a beautiful pass to split Roma’s defence.
3. Gattuso made the right substitutions
Many fans have criticised Gattuso for not making the right substitutions during the games, having replaced Biglia with Bakayoko against Napoli, for example. However, yesterday the 40-year-old proved his knowledge, bringing on Cutrone, Castillejo and Laxalt.
These three were all game changers, adding some much-needed pace to the team in the latter stages of the game. Laxalt and Castillejo linked up perfectly on the left flank, while Cutrone once again displayed his amazing runs in behind the defence, especially on the goal. For once, Milan have several dangerous players to take into action from the bench.
4. Biglia the best on the pitch
Despite all the criticism he received after the Napoli game, Biglia managed to put in a world-class performance on Friday evening, completely dictating the play. With a pass accuracy of 98.2% (completing 55 out of 56 passes), the Argentinian hardly made any mistakes in his second game of the season.
Even defensively he was crucial, making several interceptions before starting attack after attack for the Rossoneri. In fact, this game he managed to find the attackers with ease, unlike the game against Napoli. On one occasion, he dribbled past his opponent before playing a great ball to Laxalt, although the latter failed to find a Milan player with the cross. At this point, the hard part will be to find a substitute for Biglia.
5. Cutrone with another late winner
The 20-year-old did it again. Since the start of last season, he has proved to be a great force off the bench. Yesterday’s performance only confirms this, which perhaps gives Gattuso some headache on whether he should field two strikers or not.
Cutrone will certainly be a great card for Gattuso to make use of late in the games, ones the opponent’s defenders are a bit tired. His amazing movement will certainly be a welcome boost for the likes of Calhanoglu and Suso, in terms of making their job easier. In addition to this, he will keep Higuain on his toes for the spot in the starting eleven.