After a tough loss against Juventus last Monday, Milan were looking to bounce back with a win against Empoli. And the Rossonere did just that, by registering a 3-0 victory.
A few highlights from the game…
Milan lined-up in a 3-5-2 formation
This is the first time the Rossonere have fielded a formation with three at the back under coach Maurizio Ganz. There was speculation that Milan could field this formation when the club signed versatile defender Giorgia Spinelli. However, it was Francesca Vitale who played instead of Spinelli.
The experiment worked out quite well, given the defense shut down Empoli’s offense. Prior to this match, the Azzurre’s free-scoring offense had scored a whopping 18 goals in four matches.
The Rossonere were the first team to shut them down this campaign. The only downside to the defense is that Vitale, unfortunately, seemed to struggle in three-player formation. Still, the fact that Milan kept a clean sheet against them is something to be very happy with.
It means that Milan’s experiment with three at the back worked, and that it worked quite well too.
Refiloe Jane is invaluable
The South African midfielder has consistently proven her worth for Milan. She did so during the last match against Juventus, where she was made crucial interceptions in the middle of the park for the Rossonere.
She also did so during this match, as she was the engine that drove the midfield.
Jane also scored Milan’s first goal of the game as well. She is a jack-of-all-trades who contributes to both Milan’s defense and attack, and the team is very fortunate to have her.
An area that needs work
Despite the 3-0 scoreline, Milan still struggled to find the back of the net. As has been the theme many times before, Milan had many chances to score but failed to convert many of those chances.
In particular, the partnership of Valentina Giacinti and Natasha Dowie still needs to find the right chemistry with one another. Though it should be noted that the two of them fared much better this match, as it was Dowie’s assist that allowed Giacinti to score at the 81st minute.
One would hope that these are just growing pains and that they’ll find the right connection with one another in the future.
Bergamaschi is irreplaceable
Valentina was undoubted, one of Milan’s best players on the pitch during this match.
The fullback used her speed and skill to create quite a few scoring opportunities by launching pinpoint crosses into the box. Unfortunately, none of her teammates capitalised on any of the chances she created for them.
This aside, Bergamaschi proved just how vital she is to Milan through her laud worthy performance.
The ever-reliable Linda Tucceri Cimini
As was noted before, Linda Tucceri Cimini has been one of Milan’s most consistent and best performers.
The left-back put on another solid performance this match as she was instrumental to Milan keeping a clean sheet.
She also scored a pearler of a goal, as her cross into the box found its way into the back of the net.
Linda is one of the vital cogs in the machine and is instrumental to Milan’s strong defense. The way she played against Empoli confirmed this.
Overall, Milan put on a solid performance. The only flaws of the match are in attack, as the team needs to be more clinical and score more goals. This aside, the team is starting to come together and find their identity. Solid displays like the one against Empoli are a reflection of this, and may they continue to improve in the future.
Milan will play the Derby della Madonnina against Inter on October 18th. They’ll play them the day after the men play Inter in the derby as well.
If the Rossonere are to remain in the running for a place in next season’s Champions League, then they must win the derby.