CorSera: Pioli could stick with three-man defence for two reasons

By Oliver Fisher -

Yesterday afternoon at San Siro against Monza Stefano Pioli lined up his Milan side with a three-man defence, and it is something that we could see repeated in the coming weeks.

This morning’s edition of Corriere della Sera (via MilanNews) explains that it was a choice obviously dictated by the injury emergency in defence, with Fikayo Tomori and Simon Kjaer the only fit senior central defenders at the moment.

Tommaso Pobega rather unusually functioned on the left of the back three for the first 20 minutes but the formation still gave positive responses, and it could also be reused in future matches for two reasons.

First of all Simon Kjaer – who returned to the pitch yesterday after being out due to injury for several weeks – is less alone in coverage with two players at his side. Playing such a high line and welcoming one-on-one battles can leave the veteran a tad exposed at time.

Moreover, the use of wing-backs as part of the formation frees Theo Hernandez to do what he does best: get forward and create attacking threat, linking up with the midfield and attack.


Tags AC Milan


  1. I’ve dreamed of 3-5-2 or at least playing with 3 CBs for a few years now. Why? To get better control of the midfield and let Theo focus more on attacking. I’m glad it finally happened and wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Especially since the 4-3-3 hasn’t really been working out for us.

    1. 3-5-2 or 3-4-1-2 would mean two strikers. Giroud would be more efficient with another striker next to him. Playing with one CF means he’s ALWAYS sandwiched by 2-3 CBs. A partner would help a lot.

          1. Pulisic has played the 10 before for the USMNT back when the standard formation was 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.
            I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of times, whether as the left or right wing, Pulisic drops back into the midfield to help with defensive cover and often drifts into the middle. His movement and positioning and sharp passing helps Milan a lot with a steady ball control which tends to go haywire whenever he leaves.
            So yeah, he would be great for Milan as a 10, or a CAM, much bettervthan RLC

    2. Plus leao roaming looked pretty good. With that kind of unpredictability where he’s gonna pop out from makes him harder to mark, more dangerous for the opposition

  2. I think now it’s reasonable to play with 343. Aside of those reasons, we now have more prolific wingers on both sides, who could create and compensate the lack of 1 midfielder.

  3. The most important thing right now is to get the injured players back, then the Coach needs to understand the kind of players he has, and how best to use them, and another thing he should do is try and involve all the players on the roster, my main problem I have with Pioli is his lack of understanding on how to use players, he should he used Jovic in that match, apart from the assist Giroud made, he was completely flat, and Jovic needs to be sharpened , we still have the rest of the season to play.

  4. 343 is the best option if we go with a back 3. That’s what we used against Monza and it work to perfection.

    Any other back 3 formation will limit Leao and we don’t need our star player in shackles and handcuffs.

    343 or nothing. Theo can make runs wide and in the midfield while Leao and Chukwueze/Pulisic can make runs wide and inside through the center.

      1. Indeed. Compare Leao to e.g. Newcastle’s Gordon. Gordon was shining against Milan and also participated in defensive play. I don’t think he lost the ball once – unlike Leao.

  5. Funny he’d decide to got with 3 in the back considering we only have 3 CB’s currently available. If one gets injuried then they’re screwed regardless of formation.

    1. But I liked this 343 variation. It gives more certainty and coverage to the midfield. It’s more packed and compact with additional bodies there (Theo and Florenzi).

  6. Pioli Stefano I can see your having issues instead of getting things right your playing 3 Man defends your having problems.

    1. This man called him by both his govt names and started off with the surname. Took me back to High School when someone was summoned to the Principals office! Sh*t is officially serious with the fans! 😂😂😂😂🙆🏼‍♀️

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