CM: Milan’s opening half-hour against Bologna the best in Serie A’s first round

By Oliver Fisher -

It is important not to get too carried away after one game, but AC Milan’s first half display against Bologna – specifically the first half hour – offered very encouraging signs. write how Milan expected a tricky first game in Bologna and while they didn’t have it all their own way, the goals from Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic in the first 21 minutes were just reward for ‘perhaps the best opening half hour of the entire Serie A’ in round one.

Fiorentina and Juventus impressed in the first half of their games against Genoa and Udinese respectively, but Milan stood at the same levels if not even better, at least until their not-quite-100% condition saw the performance level dip.

The new 4-3-3 formation shone, while individuals showed their quality. Olivier Giroud got a goal and an assist, Tijjani Reijnders got his first assist, and Christian Pulisic had a hand in the first goal before scoring a rocket.

What needs to be looked into from Pulisic’s point of view was his defensive deployment. Sometimes he left Calabria too open against Ferguson and Likogiannis, which created headaches for the defence and also for Maignan.

After just 20 seconds, Lykogiannis hit the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the box and in truth it is not known what could have happened if Bologna had immediately taken the lead.

Milan struggled late in the first half – with the Rossoblu having three chances – and for around 20 minutes in the second half. This happened both because Thiago Motta introduced Orsolini and because Milan dropped a bit and struggled to recover the ball.

Despite a second half that was not as impressive, Milan started sketching the first certainties of the team: an imperforate defence, a solid and creative midfield and two of the three forwards scoring.

Tags AC Milan Bologna Milan


  1. Like I said those pointing at Calabria don’t understand how defense is suppose to work… Good win for the lads but far from comfortable.

    The pressing needs to be tight and our movement off the ball to receive passes when playing from the back is poor, you could see Tomori quarreling with Leao twice cus he didn’t have any one to pass to. Overall we can’t let the opponent enjoy too much possession cus that’s how goals get conceded.
    Reijnders is superbe, if Pioli can deploy him correctly then Seria A is in trouble.

    1. Calabria is a rb machine. anyone who thinks differently doesnt know football. unfortunately a lot of people on here dont know football.
      Tomori should mind himself more and not others

  2. pressing is teamwork related, so as the team gel better it shouldnt be a problem.
    anyways good win. the crossbar wont get in even if it is lower, as maignan covered it already. i cant wait to see chukweze to start

  3. Overenthusiasm is very dangerous right now. Let’s stop over-reacting and let the team work – there is so much to improve.
    Our performance was average overall. Let’s not forget, the xG score was 1.17-1.15, even in a game that started ideally for us. 8/9 out of 10 times you don’t win these games.
    Very promising signs but far from “best of Serie A”.

    1. I agree to some extent, but it’s worth mentioning that xG can be misleading based on the game state. Milan went up 2-0 on around 0.5 xG created, so it’s only natural that they would be less inclined to continue to push to create chances in lieu of playing more to protect the lead and see the game out.

    2. Sofascore had our xG as 0.9 with Bologna xG higher than ours at 1.06 😮

      I knew I’d that early shot from L had gone in, we’d be talking a whole different game.

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