AC Milan Women 5-0 San Marino: Main moments, key performers and things to improve

By Steph Insixiengmay -

The AC Milan Women put on a fantastic performance against San Marino as they beat them by a score of 5-0.

The team put on a better showing than they did last week against Florentia. This is a sign that things are improving for the squad and they’re becoming more cohesive as a unit.

Here’s a breakdown of the Rossonere’s fantastic performance against San Marino….

Refiloe Jane’s injury

Prior to kick-off, it was revealed that midfielder Refiloe Jane was removed from the starting lineup due to injury. Coach Maurizio Ganz then decided to replace her with Sara Tamborini.

As of this moment, there are no details about the extent of Jane’s injury. One can only hope that her injury isn’t grave and won’t take her out of commission for a while.

The first half

The opening 45 saw Milan dominate possession and fire more shots than their opponents did. They also managed to move the ball around quicker than they did during the last game.

This eventually led to Milan having their first shot on target at the eight minute, when Linda Tucceri Cimini’s free-kick narrowly went wide of goal.

The breakthrough would come a few minutes later at the 12 minute mark, thanks to defender Laura Agard. It was the centre-back’s first goal in Rossonero, and she scored it with style.

Grimshaw gets her first

Not wanting to be outdone, fellow newcomer Christy Grimshaw also scored her first goal during this game. She did so after a sublime assist from Laura Fusetti.

The midfielder would score another goal at around the 45 minute mark. Overall, the Scottish player had a much better game than she did against Florentia. It’s a sign that she’s adjusting to Italian football, which is a good sign for Milan.

Natasha Dowie

Like Agard and Grimshaw, newcomer Natasha Dowie also scored her first goal for Milan during this game. Her first goal came at the 51st minute.

She would later score another goal at the 82nd minute. After struggling in the match against Florentia, Dowie put on a much better display against San Marino. The forward is adjusting to Italy’s top flight and Milan will only benefit from her continual progress.

Other noteworthy things

Right-back Federica Rizza has returned to Milan after a long absence. The defender was substituted into the game at the 54th minute, in place of Christy Grimshaw. Rizza suffered an injury late last year and is slowly making her return to the squad.

The fact that she was able to play on Sunday is a sign that she’s getting better. Her return will give Milan added depth at the right-back position. It was also a sight for sore eyes too.

Things to improve

Though the team moved the ball around a lot better during this game, the team needs to work on being more precise with their passes. As was noted before, the team was second in maintaining possession last season, but fifth in terms of passing.

This means that they need to be more effective with the ball when they have it. During this match, the team made a few errors in possession that resulted in San Marino carving out a few, small chances for themselves.

We saw this at the 74th minute when Muya found her way past the defense and came dangerously close to scoring. Muya’s run into the box also highlights the need for Milan to work on maintaining concentration, as a momentary mental lapse by the defenders allowed Muya to make her dangerous run forward.

Finally, there’s the issue of Valentina Giacinti and her scoring. The captain was heavily criticised for her inability to score by the Milan fans.

It doesn’t help that Giacinti had to make constant runs from the midfield to inside the box, which made her expend a lot of energy. Then there’s the fact that she and Dowie are still building an understanding with one another, as they’ve only been teammates for a short while.

This is the main reason why there’s not much interplay between the two of them, and why they’re so reluctant to pass the ball to one another as they would rather take on the shots themselves.

This is the type of chemistry that needs to be developed over time, and will not come after playing two games.

The criticisms of Giacinti, while understandable, were also a little too harsh. Still, Valentina herself must learn to be patient and not so hard on herself for not scoring.

The season has just started, so there will be plenty of time for her to find her groove and to start scoring again.

These are things the team needs to work on. If we’re aware of it, then so are they. As the season progresses, Milan will surely improve over time as well.

Up next

AC Milan will play Pink Bari next Saturday at 17:45 CEST.

Before then, another review on Milan’s match against San Marino Academy will be posted, once the statistics for it are made available.

This will lead into a preview with their match against Pink Bari, as the Rossonere look to make it three for three next Saturday.

Tags AC Milan Women Rossonere
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