The AC Milan Women beat Pink Bari by a score of 3-1 at the Vismara earlier today.
With this win, the Rossonere remain undefeated in the league, as they’ve won all three of their matches this season.
The first half
Milan took the field and deployed a 4-3-1-2 formation. They started off the match rather well against Bari, as their breakthrough came at the fourth minute.
Linda Tucceri’s cross found the head of Christy Grimshaw who headed it in the path of Valentina Giacinti. Giacinti then scored her first goal of the season.
Milan would later double their advantage at the 24th minute after Christy Grimshaw slotted a pass through Bari’s defense to Natasha Dowie, who then slotted the goal into the back of the net.
Grimshaw was one of Milan’s standout performers of the half, as her dribbling, vision, and defense splitting passes played a big role in Milan’s victory today.
The Rossonere held the majority of possession during the first half and had more shots on target than their Apulian opponents. There was a little bite to Milan’s game, however, evident by midfielder Caroline Rask getting a yellow card after a foul on Bari’s Silvioni. It was also Rask’s first time getting booked in Serie A as well.
This faux pas aside, Milan would carry their 2-0 lead into the break and build on it in the second half.
The second half
After the second half began, Milan pretty much picked up where they had left off. The team did field a different formation, however, as they switched to a 4-4-2 in the second half.
Milan had the chance to triple their lead at around the 53rd minute after Bari’s Danielle Lea had fouled Valentina Giacinti inside the box.
Giacinti then stepped up to take the penalty. However, her shot was hit rather limply and saved by the Rossobianci’s goalkeeper, Paula Myllyoja.
The Milan skipper would make up for her loss a few minutes later when she scored her second goal of the game at the 57th minute.
Giacinti broke her scoring duck this game with two goals and would seal Milan’s victory with them as well.
Though the team remained dominant in the second half, their performance was not without any flaws.
The Rossonere had plenty of chances to score, but only managed to convert one goal. The team needs to work on being more clinical and converting their chances in front of goal.
There was also a drop-off and lapse in concentration as the game came to a close. The team’s energy levels seem to dissipate in the latter half of games, and that could hurt them in the long run.
It certainly did so during this game, as Francesca Soro pulled one back for Bari at the 79th minute, after Maria Korenčiová’s odd decision to leave her line. Rather than dealing with a cross into the box in a confident manner, Korenčiová looked rather nervous and awkward as she dealt with the ball, and her indecisiveness allowed to Bari scoring their only goal of the game.
The lapse in concentration didn’t just affect the defense. Natasha Dowie had an opportunity to score Milan’s fourth goal at the 85th minute, but her limp shot on target was a sign that she had completely run out of gas near the end of the game.
Still, neither Korenčiová nor Dowie should let these two mistakes blight their overall performances. These two errors aside, the two of them put on commendable performances for Milan during this game.
In the end, the Rossonere emerged the victors of this match by a score of 3-1. They remain undefeated and have only conceded one goal along the way.
The team is also gradually improving in key areas, including making the most out of the possession they have and moving the ball around quickly in order to create scoring opportunities.
This is a positive sign for them and if they stay the course, then they may meet their objective of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Milan had 68% possession, along with 14 shots to Bari’s four. They also had two corners and received only one caution as well.
It was a dominant display for the team, and it resulted in a well-earned win.
There were many, but a special mention must be given to Christy Grimshaw. As was previously stated, the midfielder’s dribbling, ability to hold the ball, along with her vision and defense splitting passes were instrumental to Milan’s victory.
A special mention must be given to Laura Fusetti, whose stalwart and strong defending proved just how valuable she is to Milan. Without her, we’d truly be lost. Valentina Bergamaschi must also be heralded for her ability to hold off opponents as she built up Milan’s attack while also maintaining their backline as well.
Last but not least, there’s Natasha Dowie. Though the forward spurned one chance on target, she also put in the work and created many chances for the team.
Dowie is adjusting quite well to Milan and Serie A and will only get better with every match. The team will no doubt, reap the benefits over time as well.
Things to improve
The team’s energy levels seem to fall off during the second half of matches. They seem to suffer from a lapse of concentration, as was outlined before.
Milan needs to work on maintaining concentration for every single minute they’re on the pitch. Otherwise, more clinical teams like Fiorentina will punish them for their mental lapses.
The team needs to also work on being more clinical in front of goal. The team narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last year on goal difference and if they don’t start scoring more goals, they just might miss out on the chance to play in the competition again.
After the international break, Milan will face Juventus on October 4th. The Rossonere will go into that match with the momentum of having three wins under their belt, even if that momentum may momentarily be halted by the European qualifiers.
A preview of that match will be posted shortly before the game against Juventus. A statistical analysis of their match against Bari will be posted before then as well.
In the meanwhile, you can watch the highlights of the match below.