After getting knocked out of the Champions League by Inter, Milan had to immediately turn their attention towards Serie A and the hunt for the top four.
They needed to and still need to collect all available points in the remaining games if they are to have any chance of participating in Europe’s top club competition next season.
Fortunately for them, their opponents were the already-relegated Sampdoria and the Rossoneri were able to win the game with ease.
It only took Milan nine minutes to score through Rafael Leao, but then in the 20th Sampdoria equalised through Quagliarella after some slack defending, but Oliver Giroud netted in the 23rd and 29th minutes.
In the second half, Milan continued in the same fashion with Brahim Diaz scoring the 4th goal in the 63rd minute and Giroud scoring his hat-trick in the 68th minute. Here are five things we learned…
1. At long last
Olivier Giroud ended his goal drought and even netted his first hat-trick since joining the club. Obviously, Sampdoria aren’t a team to measure against, but the Frenchman did take advantage of the chances he go proving that he can still produce when given the service.
This service is something that has been lacking in recent months and he is always a striker who has struggled to create for himself, so that must be factored in.
Hopefully the 36-year-old can get on a roll and continue that going into next season as he is more than capable of helping this team, even though it looks like he should be second option if Milan were to be ambitious about winning titles.
2. Brilliant Brahim
Giroud wasn’t the only one that managed to react to recent poor performances with Brahim also shifting gears. The Spaniard got a goal and two assists to his name as he showed that he has the quality.
It is strange to try and judge Diaz as he has had some marvellous performances such as the games against Napoli and Juventus, but then often lacks the continuity and his form drops dismally.
Against Sampdoria, he again showed that he can be the difference so it will be interesting to see what role he will have next season if he was to stay at the club beyond the summer.
3. Continuing to shine
Sandro picked up an assist and was constantly involved in both phases of the game as he seems to have really established himself in the middle of the park taking on a lot of responsibilities and not being afraid to lead.
It was a great performance against a Sampdoria side that admittedly have a weak midfield, but the Italian continues to impress and it looks like his part within the squad is going to be even bigger in the future.
4. Missing the party
Junior Messias was beyond disappointing against Inter over both legs and you would think he would look a bit better when his side are scoring five goals in a game, but the winger was at his now usual low level, failing to produce anything of significance.
It was a big upgrade when Alexis Saelemaekers came on and despite Messias’ hard work, it’s obvious that he’s not good enough for an ambitious team like Milan as he struggled against a team sitting at the bottom of the league that are already relegated.
5. Lost and not found
Charles De Ketelaere was again not able to show anything worthwhile whilst on the pitch, although he did only play 20 minutes to his defence.
In those 20 minutes, he lacked the desire to run or involve himself as even with his team four goals up he still chose the easy pass all the time and didn’t really want to take on some responsibility and go forward himself.
It is really discouraging to watch the Belgian in the state he is right now and Pioli will have the tough job of transforming the youngster during the preseason.
The hope is he will follow in Leao and Tonali’s footsteps and improve drastically in his second season.
What I don’t understand from CDK is surely in a situation like that he should think I’ve got nothing to lose, let me show some grinta (grit) and fight hard to create some great opportunities but he did nothing
He has looked uninterested the whole season. When things get hard, you fight. Well… Most players do. CDK doesn’t. He looks like he’s given up months ago.
People need to realize… Diaz didn’t do ANYTHING Special. Sampdoria is at the BOTTOM of the league.. and the reason is their defense.
Diaz tried the same things he tries against EVERY team. Sampdoria is so bad it made Diaz looked like a God. The reality is.. Any.. Even slightly capable defense would just see through his antics. All it takes is for a defender to just stand in front of Diaz and he will walk right into him with the ball for no reason. Happened over and over and over again.
I know it will be an unpopular opinion because we won.. but no.. the quality hasn’t improved even the slightest. We just weren’t tested in this match. There is a massive difference.
BTW, we haven’t learned ANYTHING. Apparently Pioli gave the team 2 days off because they finally did at the end of the season what they were supposed to do from the beginning of it lol
Or because they’re shattered and he’s been advised that they need added recuperation time for the final push
Spot on. Particularly regarding Diaz. But you know what will happen. They’ll say, oh look that’s the real Diaz, and they’ll bring him back next season.
Napoli beat inter 3-1 so this opens up the cl qualification a bit more because now inter has 66 points and we 64 and while we will have to meet juventus in the next round they will have to meet atalanta,
Also i read that juventus mght actually have a 12 points reduction rather than the 9 often mentioned,
Yeah but if Roma win Europe League 4th will not be enough
Not sure if the erupa leaguge winner eliminates one of the top 4 as each league can have 5 cl qualifiers/contenders but i doubt roma will win in the europa league either way. If or when juventus gets a point deduction or possibly a ban from europe from uefa then it would mean a 3rd place if we beat juve and inter either draw or lose.
Im still fairly confident that we will qualify but things can go either way but im positive.
“each league i”s wrong type of description but in regard of accumolated points coeficiency we have the max of 5 cl qualifiers and i doubt inter will win the cl against cl final.
I’m not sure why in recent weeks Pioli has chosen Junior Messias over Saelemaekers particularly given the latter has been crucial in recent weeks.
It does however point to the larger issue of having too big a squad. The last few games Saelemaekers were missed opportunities to give Saelemaekers playing time and for him to continue his development.
A large squad limits playing time for all the players: too many CBs denied playing time to Thiaw, too many CMs including Bakayoko denied playing time to CMs including Vranckx, Adli and CDK have cancelled each other out with the latter inexplicably being given opportunities over the former, and it’s really not clear what is the point of having both Junior Messias and Saelemaekers.
The squad needs to cut back over summer. That’s as important as who we sign.
Well because pioli has his favourites at AC Milan that’s why sale is a much better player than messias but pioli doesn’t want to use him
It happened fast but noticed when CDK lost the ball the defender went to the corner for space . CDK started walking back. I saw Saelemaker look at CDK pont to the defender and yell at CDK to chase him.
That is not a good sign in my opinion. Bern waiting for the ah-ha moment from CDK. Not sure it’s going to happen for us. Maybe we need a manager that instills a little fear instead of constant coddling.
Sack Pioli, Return Diaz, and get rid of Messias, Tomori, Kalulu, Origi, Rebic,
This players and the coach will bring us to nowhere if they’re in the team next season
oma winning Europa League means Serie A would have 5 teams in Champions League — it would NOT eliminate 4th place team. Learn the rules! It just happened this year too! Last year Frankfurt won Europa League (while in 10th place in Bundesliga) and Germany sent 5 teams to CL this year including Frankfurt. It happened multiple other times in recent years with Villareal’s EL win and Man U’s EL win when both were outside their domestic top 4.
Giroud as second option if Milan are serious about winning titles?? Wrong. Giroud is as capable and effective as Benzema, for example, with the difference being Benzema has an amazing team in Madrid. Get Giroud a quality team and he will be as productive as Europe’s best.