Chievo 1-2 AC Milan: Five things we learned

By Ivan Stoev -

Milan achieved a fifth consecutive win in Serie A after beating Chievo by two goals to one away from home. 

The Rossoneri took the lead after a spectacular free kick from Lucas Biglia and Piatek was once again on the scoresheet with the winner, giving the three points to the away team.

1. Biglia’s return


Lucas Biglia returned to the starting line-up for the first time since October and was arguably the best Milan player against Chievo. The Argentine looked sluggish in the last game he was subbed in against Sassuolo, but was on another level this time around as he was good on the ball, providing security to the team with his passes.

Lucas Biglia AC Milan

He then scored a fantastic free-kick, giving his team the lead and does not look like he has been out for so long. The placement of the finish as inch perfect, leaving Milan fans stunned. 

2. Fans excitement

There were around 4,000 Milan fans in the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi in Verona and all away tickets were sold for the game. The Rossoneri fans are increasing their attendance in the home games as well away, and are showing signs of enthusiasm and excitement around the club.

AC Milan fans

While the team managed their fifth consecutive league win, the fans also show their growing support which should be a big boost in the remaining home fixtures and the quest for a top-four finish.

3. Castillejo – the man in form

Castillejo last started a game in the 3-0 win against Empoli, being the man of the match and showing great desire. Three games later Gattuso started the Spaniard again, and he did not disappoint. Providing the assist for Piatek’s winner and having done well in the game, he showed proper technique and speed, leaving the opponents clueless at times.

Castillejo Milan

Samu did a great job on the field rotating all the times and setting up good combinations with his teammates. Gattuso should consider playing him more in the upcoming fixtures.

4. Laxalt improvement?

Diego Laxalt came to Milan last summer from Genoa after a good World Cup with Uruguay. He has had difficulties with playing time as Rodriguez is the first choice, whilst whenever Laxalt has been given a chance he has not reached the expectations. Since December, Milan have improved and have more stability on the pitch, which offers Gattuso options to rotate the starting eleven.

Laxalt Milan


Laxalt played the full ninety minutes in the 2-0 win against Napoli, putting in what maybe was his best performance with the Rossoneri. his time around, his task was much more defensively-minded, as Chievo put in a high press. Therefore, he could not get forward too much, although he looked composed for most of the game. 

5. Calhanoglu back just in time

The Turkish international was heavily criticised in recent months due to his poor form in the red and black shirt. Despite that, he has worked hard, with the confidence of his coach, as he has picked up the pace since the Atalanta game, where he provided a goal and assist.

He is starting to look more like the player Milan fans loved last season, building his confidence and making an impact in the games. Calhanoglu’s chemistry with Paqueta allows him to rotate and move towards the centre, where he feels better dictating the game with his vision and passing.

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 26: Hakan Calhanoglu of AC Milan is challenged by Kevin Malcuit (back) of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 26, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

When Calhanoglu and Castillejo are on the wings, there are moments when Milan are playing with a 4-3-2-1 formation as both players like to cut inside, which provides exciting opportunities.

A good example is the Empoli game, where Castillejo’s assist and goal came through the middle, giving a chance to the right back to overlap and make crosses into the box. Furthermore, in the game against Empoli, Piatek’s goal came from an assist provided by Calhanoglu from the right side of the field. It is indeed an exciting thing to look at as Gattuso could use those different formations and players depending on the opponent.

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1 Comment

  1. totally agree with the points about Laxalt and Hakan… laxalt needs playing time, and will be an even more useful player… mostly from the bench and against sides like chievo, but an important support player for sure. Same with Hakan; he is good, but not that good, and based on how gattuso is setting up the team i would put him on the bench behind paqueta and bonaventura (when he is back and fit)… so do we really need him? he clearly isnt our left winger, so that is not a real option
    With Biglia; great freekick… probably the best of the year… but his passing is average at best and he cant dribble the ball, and he cant distribute the ball across field well (always passing short and behind players, a real regista.. pirlo… gives the ball to run on to). so the question for me is … how much better would we have played with Bakayoko in that position? i agree with gattuso giving baka the rest, but for instance; against Inter who do you want in that position? a guy who cant dribble, passes the ball the instant he gets it and more often than not puts the person he is passing to in tough situations, or a dynamic player who is big, powerful, can carry the ball and passes? do we really want to paying that much salary to a vet to sit on the bench who really isnt that good? FFP would certainly say no… and that money could be spent on tonali maybe? happy to rotate in and get serie a experience and coaching…
    Castillejo… is as bad on the ball as he is good, its a 50/50 with him.. either he does some great stuff or he blasts a shot into the upper deck… his passing is about the same… on the players foot or at thier face. not consistent enough to be redeemed in my opinion

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