Capello heaps praise on Leao and Milan’s performance: “Leao makes the difference”

By Euan Burns -

Former Italian manager Fabio Capello has praised AC Milan and specifically Rafael Leao for the way they performed in the Serie A match against Atalanta on Sunday night. 

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Pianeta Milan) in the wake of the match which ended 1-1 at San Siro, Capello was full of compliments for Leao.

the Portuguese forward opened the scoring in the first few minutes of the match with a wonderful goal. He danced into the box and then hit a precise and powerful shot into the top corner which Marco Carnesecchi could hardly react to.

He explained that Leao deserved his own section of attention and praise thanks to the way that he makes such a difference each time he touches the ball.

“Milan won all the duels, in a match played by both teams often man-to-man. To do so against Atalanta, who make running and physicality their strengths, is never easy or trivial,” he said.

“And then there is Leao. With all due respect to the others on the pitch, the Portuguese deserves a separate chapter. He scored an extraordinary goal, but it would be simplistic to stop at that feat. Leao makes a difference with every touch of the ball. He beats a man, serves assists, forces the opposing team to double up, thus freeing up space for his teammates. On an evening with such a dominant Leao, not winning is really a shame. Also because at midday Juventus, with a decidedly less convincing performance, had extended their lead in the fight for second place. Football is like that, we know.”

Leao has not had the best season and this goal was a rare reminder of just what he is capable of.

Luckily for Milan, he was not the only element of the team which deserved praise. Capello said that he was unsure which version of the Rossoneri would perform against Atalanta. The team has been dogged by inconsistency this season.

“I was very curious to see which Milan would face Atalanta, one of the most impressive teams in the league, after the defeats against Monza and Rennes. And that’s why I went to San Siro to see it with my own eyes. Well, it was a good Milan. It created a lot and conceded little, it played better than the opponent, maintaining a very high level of attention for the whole 90 minutes, looking for verticality and depth without getting lost in ‘games’ as sometimes happens. Drawing 1-1 is a tight one for the Rossoneri and I’m sure there will be some regret for having only brought home a point. If I were Pioli, though, I’d still be happy with the performance,” Capello said.

Tags AC Milan Fabio Capello Rafael Leao
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