AC Milan 3-2 Bodo/Glimt: Five things we learned – Duo shine but two problems emerge

By Ivan Stoev -

AC Milan hosted Bodo/Glimt at San Siro in the third qualifying round of the Europa League and managed to win 3-2, but it wasn’t as easy as some were expecting.

The Norwegian club had an amazing unbeaten run heading into the game and faced Milan full of confidence, even managing to take the lead in the 16th minute. Fortunately for the Rossoneri, Calhanoglu equalised moments later, and he then added an assist to his name before scoring a lovely half-volley to make it 3-1.

It wasn’t to be easy though as Bodo/Glimt managed to pull one back and make it 3-2 thanks to a thunderbolt from Jens Petter Hauge – who Milan are now interested in – with Pioli’s men looking a bit fatigued towards the end.

It all ended well after all and Milan will face Rio Ave in the Europa League play-off next Thursday. Here are five things we learned from the game…

1. A debut to remember 

Unfortunately for Milan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swede tested positive for Coronavirus meaning he was forced to isolate and miss the game.

Fortunately for Lorenzo Colombo though, the youngster got his first start for the club in competitive fixtures and it would prove to be a night to remember.

The teenager scored the second goal for his team after a lovely combination that started on the left with Theo Hernandez. He had a few promising moments aside from the goal, but was subbed of in favour of Daniel Maldini, who brought some flair to the game while Colombo was a bit stiff.

The youngster is growing more and more confident after a positive preseason as the future looks bright for him.

2. What a display

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s absence was always to be a blow, but Hakan Calhanoglu more than filled the void left by the Swede. The Turkey international continued his outstanding form scoring two wonder goals and provided a lovely assist.

Hakan now has 12 goals and 10 assists in his last 22 games, which by any measure is simply outstanding and proves his worth to this team.

Calhanoglu looks like he is finally ready to fulfil his potential and bring consistency into his game to grow into a world class player.

3. Gabbia not convincing 

Matteo Gabbia had a positive display in the Serie A opener, but this time around he struggled at times against Bodo/Glimt, highlighting why Milan need another centre-back before the end of the transfer window.

However, while he wasn’t entirely convincing, the Italian did have a few outstanding interceptions and tackles, but his overall performance was very mixed.

There were times towards the end of the game when rather than being aggressive he chose to let the away side run at him, dropping deeper and deeper which only made the situation worse.

While he is showing potential, Gabbia needs time and experience to clear these mistakes from his game and grow into a more reliable defender for the future.

4. Donnarumma decisive 

Gigio Donnarumma had a lot to do compared to his previous two fixtures. The 21-year-old was called into action multiple times and even conceded twice, but it’s fair to say he wasn’t really to blame for both of the goals.

Towards the game though when the score stood at 3-2, Gigio made a few crucial saves that kept his team in the lead, though it would be understandable if he were fuming at his defence for losing concentration as much as they did.

Nonetheless, with reports in the media swirling regarding his contract extension, Donnarumma is certainly doing nothing to disprove that he deserves a pay rise.

5. A choice to be made

We should again mention the unconvincing display on the right by Samu Castillejo. The Spaniard offered little up front and is struggling to outpace players and play one-on-one due to his physicality.

The management should consider really carefully if they want a full season of Castillejo on the wing or should they target the area and focus on bringing a player in.

While there is Brahim Diaz, the Spaniard will most likely be a deputy to Hakan due to the fact that Paqueta is seemingly on the way out, with Lyon interested.

The centre-back position is a problem, but Romagnoli will soon be available and that area is more of a depth issue for the short-term, while the right wing position is a starting XI player problem as of now.

Tags AC Milan Hakan Calhanoglu Lorenzo Colombo Matteo Gabbia Milan Bodo/Glimt Samu Castillejo