CM: The three tactical moves with which De Rossi outsmarted Pioli in Milan-Roma

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were deservedly beaten by AS Roma last night in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final first leg tie at San Siro last night, and it has a lot to do with coaching. have analysed the game last night and above all the tactical battle between Stefano Pioli and Daniele De Rossi, two coaches who entered the game with their teams playing well and full of confidence.

On the one hand we saw a well-organised team, impeccable from a tactical point of view, concentrated and combative. On the other there was a Milan without a soul and with few ideas.

The result of 0-1 feels the right outcome from a match that leaves everything open for the return leg, but which sees the Giallorossi as clear favourites to progress to the Europa League semi-finals.

With three different tactical moves, De Rossi won the match against Pioli by a landslide. The first: Stephan El Shaarawy on the right to keep Rafael Leao and Theo Hernandez in check, which worked very well.

The second: Romelu Lukaku was isolated in attack to keep the two central defenders busy, something which actually seemed to bring out the best in his hold-up play and ensured Roma were dangerous in transition.

The third move: a switch to a 4-4-2 in the non-possession phase with Lorenzo Pellegrini out wide, which limited the space for Milan to operate in as there was no room between the lines.

The still inexperienced Roma coach has proven to be an excellent strategist as well as an extraordinary motivator, and it gives Pioli plenty to digest.


Tags AC Milan


  1. Ink on De Rossi’s coaching license is still not dry, but he is all of a sudden a strategy mastermind or maybe, just maybe Pioli is an overhyped Torino lvl coach who is still spending the credit earned by Inter losing scudetto, rather than him winning it?

    1. That makes perfect sense. He is still riding that one good season in a 25 years career, which was more of Inter loosing it rather than him winning it anyway. He is a mid table to upper mid table coach at best who can only play counter atacking football and pass to Leao tactics.

  2. This game looked like a 1-1/0-0 draw, (Giroud miss and the offside call before the goal).

    De Rossi did very well to contain Milan though

  3. Let’s be honest, Roma played better. Sure, the penalty looked like a penalty but they were better. It’s that simple. No, Pioli isnt the worst, or No De Rossi is not the next Guardiola/Klopp/Carletto descendant. He simply outsmarted Pioli; SEL was a gamble and paid off.
    One thing i noticed, Bennacer clearly isnt up to his best. Perhaps next year, but right now Adli defends better and passes better…crazy because we know what Bennie can do.

  4. Well, is it really a secret on how to deal with Pioli’s Milan? For the longest time we’re always having a hard time againts a low-block deep-defense bus-parking counter-attacking team. And to see we still have no solution for that matter, after a formation change, (many) players change, there’s only one factor that hasn’t been changed..

  5. You mean to tell me a coach outsmarted Pioli TACTICALLY????? How is this ever possible? Lololololo😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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