The AC Milan Women played their first preseason friendly against the Ajax Vrouwen yesterday, winning 5-0. The match took place at the Sportpark De Toekomst in Amsterdam.
The full match was also streamed live on Ajax TV. However, Ajax TV is only available to those who live in The Netherlands, and a full replay of the match has yet to appear on online.
Instead, all we have are highlights of the match. Here’s what we’re able to glean from them…
1) AC Milan lined up in a 4-3-1-2 formation
The starting line-up was comprised of Korenčiová; Bergamaschi, Fusetti, Agard, Tucceri; Conc, Jane, Grimshaw; Longo; Giacinti, Dowie. It’s a preview of the formation that they may use next season.
Though Milan may deploy this formation, they will not be fielding the same players. New signings Julia Šimić and Giorgia Spinelli will be suiting up for them next season. Both players will give the team tactical flexibility and allow them to try different formations throughout the season.
There are also rumors that Milan are trying to sign a trequartista, and that the player may come from abroad.
More will be posted about these rumours soon.
2. Milan’s attack is formidable
After scoring a total of five goals, it’s safe to say that the Rossonere’s attack is quite lethal. Valentina Giacinti, Lidija Kuliš, and Natasha Dowie all found themselves on the score sheet as they propelled the team to victory. Dowie was the standout performer of the match, as she scored a hat trick which included this absolute screamer.
Dowie might prove to be one of Milan’s more astute signings, and has the potential to be a breakout star next season.
The Dowie-Giacinti partnership has the potential to replicate the Sabatino-Giacinti partnership of the first season, and they might do one better.
This is definitely something to look forward to, as the two of them can combine for a glut of goals for Milan in the future.
3. The Rossonere are strong enough to beat a team of professionals
Ajax plays in the Eredivisie Vrouwen, which is the top-flight of Dutch women’s football. The Eredivisie is a professional league, and the players in it are all professionals. Like Serie A Femminile, the league was also cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ajax finished second in the league, after PSV, who won the league based on the final standings.
AC Milan, on the other hand, are still classified as ‘amateurs’, since Serie A Femminile is still considered an amateur league. (They will become professionals in 2022, however.)
Ajax’s defense also had Women’s World Cup finalist and Euro 2017 winner, Stefanie van der Gragt, in it. She is an experienced defender who has been tested at the highest levels for both her clubs and her country.
Van der Gragt also scored The Netherlands’ second goal against Italy, as the two sides played the quarterfinals of the last Women’s World Cup.
In the end, the Oranje Leeuwinnen prevailed and eventually went on to play the final. Giacinti got a revenge of sorts yesterday, as she scored an absolute worlder against Van der Gragt.
Revenge, however small it is, can be rather sweet indeed.
It should be noted that Van der Gragt is still recovering from injury and is still not at one hundred percent. Still, one must take their victories wherever they can. Milan did so in a big way yesterday, and they did so as a group of amateurs who managed to beat a professional side.
What happens next
The Rossonere’s friendly with Ajax was a part of their preparations for the upcoming season. Milan performed well during the match, and it should be seen as positive sign for the team.
The next season of Serie A Femminile is just around the corner. Milan will play their first game of the season against Florentia. The match will be played on Sunday, August 23rd at the Vismara.
The last time Milan played Florentia didn’t end well, as they lost the match 2-1.
However, the chances of this happening again are rather slim, as the squad has improved much since then.
We won’t know just how much they’ve improved until they’ve played their first match of the season.
Until then, keep yourselves occupied by watching the highlights of the Rossonere’s fantastic performance below.
🎥 The best of our Rossonere's friendly drubbing of Ajax. What a way to begin the pre-season⭐
— AC Milan (@acmilan) August 12, 2020