AC Milan 3-3 Salernitana: Five things we learned – Giroud class and grazie Pioli

By Ivan Stoev -

Milan faced Salernitana in the last game of the season and Stefano Pioli was hoping to go out with a win. Instead, due to a poor defensive display (yet again), they were held to a 3-3 draw. Still, the farewells were beautiful. 

Both teams had nothing to play for, with Milan having secured the second spot and Salernitana relegated a while ago. However, given that it was the final game for Pioli, Olivier Giroud and Simon Kjaer, it was expected for the home side to grab all three points and finish this cycle in style.

However, after an impressive start and a two-goal lead for the Rossoneri, things took a wrong turn as Salernitana came back and made it 3-3. Ironically, the outcome seemed like the perfect ending for Pioli as that display encapsulated the up-and-down season that Milan have had.

Below are five things we learned from the game…

1. Giroud showing his class one last time

Giroud said goodbye to the Rossoneri in style, scoring with a lovely first-time finish to double his side’s lead. It was indeed the perfect ending to a very good tenure with the club, performing at a very high level at such a high age.

He arrived at the club in 2021 and was supposed to be a back-up for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, with the Swede struggling with injuries, Giroud eventually became the starting striker in an attempt to break the No.9 curse.

He certainly managed to bring certainty to that position with 39 goals and 17 assists in 97 games. He also helped the younger players and was a role model for the squad. In that sense, his departure will be very costly as a lot of experience will be lacking.

After the game, Giroud expressed his love for the Rossoneri colours and there’s no doubt that he has fought for the badge. He will be dearly remembered by the fans, helping them get back to the top and above all win the Scudetto.

2. Captain responds amid rumours 

Davide Calabria had a solid game defensively as he wasn’t really at fault for the goals and he did well going forward, picking up a goal in the process. His first of the season, it should be noted, even if he had come close on previous occasions.

The captain has had a very mixed season, with a few injuries not helping his case, and there are rumours that a new right-back could arrive in the summer. Certainly, compared to the left-hand side where Theo Hernandez plays, there is room for improvement.

That being said, Calabria is Milanista through and through which is something that shouldn’t underestimated.

3. Dynamic down the left flank

It was a trademark performance by Hernandez and Rafael Leao in the final game of the season. They were both very dangerous when going forward, combining on a few occasions as well. Of course, Salernitana have been poor defensively but it’s still worth highlighting.

Hernandez was unlucky not to get his goal, disallowed for a very narrow offside after VAR check, and he had several good runs forward. His partner in crime, Leao, also had a good game with a strong start even if he was gifted the goal by the goalkeeper.

It will be interesting to see the duo under a new coach and some refreshed tactics as the current ones, as good as they are on their day, are too predictable by the opposition.

4. An impressive first season by Pulisic

Pulisic was very lively on the right flank and his performance pretty much summarised the positive first season in red and black. Indeed, thanks to an assist in the second half, he brought his points tally up to 26 for the season (15 goals and 11 assists, all comps).

The American arrived for a mere €20m plus bonuses in the summer after a very poor season with Chelsea. Samuel Chukwueze was signed shortly thereafter for €28m (including bonuses) and many had higher expectations of the Nigerian.

Pulisic was determined, though, and was a crucial part of Pioli’s side from the first round (when he scored a lovely goal against Bologna). It will be very interesting to see him build on this, knowing that he will head into next season as a certain starter which should only boost his confidence.

5. Grazie Pioli

Just like that, an important cycle has come to an end. Pioli arrived at Milan in a very delicate moment, with a team full of youngsters and not a lot of leaders, but he never complained and worked hard to find a solution.

The mere fact that he was brought in as a caretaker of sorts, but eventually stayed for almost five full seasons, is a compliment to his work. He brought Milan back to the Champions League for the first time in seven years and secured the first Scudetto in 11 years.

On top of that, he reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. The current campaign was far from ideal, but it wasn’t easy given the plethora of injuries that hit the team. And there were some good moments too, such as the wins against PSG and Newcastle in the Champions League.

He certainly stabilised the club after years of chaos and for that, we thank him. Grazie for all of your work, Stefano, it will not be forgotten.

Tags AC Milan Olivier Giroud Salernitana Serie A Stefano Pioli


  1. That left side gets a lot of hype but it’s about time to be productive.
    Theo should not to be a liability defensively. After the Genoa game Gilardino said they attacked Milan weakness which according to him is the left side.
    If Leao is to be considered a top player he cannot finish serie A season with less than 20 goals , let alone less than 10 goals. CDK has the same goal contributions as Leao this season.
    Giroud will be missed, Pioli won’t.
    Don’t care how Calabria played vs the worst team in serie A, he cannot be a starter next season.
    Pulisic was bought for shirt sales they said.

    1. Completely agree.

      Theo does need to improve defensively. When Kessie was here, he covered up a lot for Theo when the Frenchman would bomb down the flanks.

      He’s been more exposed last two seasons without proper DM coverage.

  2. Everyone will be happy with the end of the season,Pioli started well, but along the line , his insistance of discarding players too easily, players who had begun to shine, his insistance of a continual use of players who were completely out of their depth, his reluctance of changing tactics and formations, his rather bizarre over playing some players out of position , and using players who were not fit, which caused them to get injured, his lack of bravery of using young players consistently who were showing signs of growth, we WD have had a better inform Luka Jovic, but immediately Pioli noticed he was beginning to score and pick form, he began to bench him and cut his game time, and consistently continued to use a burnt out and dried up Giroud, we had a lot of injuries, but Pioli contributed alot to our demise this season, the last games of the season clearly showed, he was out of his depth, confused, and a very mediocre coach, who could not see simple things that were evident for everyone to see, especially the fans.

  3. What I learned, the home kit for next season is also trash.

    What is with the white panel under arm?

    Who comes up with this stuff? What’s worse, who approves it?

  4. The defensive collapse just felt like a slow moving car crash. It seemed inevitable.
    A major over haul of the defence and midfield seems necessary.

    1. Also learned that VAR offside rule needs a revamp. I’m tired of seeing legitimate goals from open play being ruled out. And supplemented with penalties for soft handballs.

      They need to put some reins on these offside calls ruling out goals. If the call is so tight that the human eye sees the two players as level; then you shouldn’t be changing the on field decision.
      They must set a minimum distance for offside before the VAR will intervene.

      1. Yeah. Did Leao being 3cm offside have ANY effect on the goal? If he had been 5 cm lower would the defenders have been able to prevent it? No. The offside rule needs to be changed.

  5. Sitting watching that my god just another load of crap.i don’t really think ac milan will ever be a power again. With the people that are running it the manager they are bringing in the players that we have got I can’t see anything happening.

  6. How did we “learn” the left side is dynamic and Pulisic had a great season?! Didn’t we know this already?
    I’ve learnt that the love for Pioli was far greater than I expected and that the rumours of losing the dressing room were unfounded if anything

    1. Indeed. And that reminds me one thing about Pioli & the owners… People say the owners lack ambition. Then why fire Pioli? He was perfect for them. He said yes to everything, he was polite, he got the UCL-spot (and more). If the owners are perfectly happy with getting to UCL, then why risk EVERYTHING and sack him?

      I’m sure the lynch mob will answer these questions though. 🙂

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