CorSport: A victory without balance – Milan must show more in Prague

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan won 4-2 in the Europa League last 16 first leg against Slavia Praha, yet there is a feeling of it being a missed opportunity as the same worries arose.

As Corriere dello Sport (via MilanNews) writes this morning, when you win a match and even score four goals, you should be happy about it. Yet despite there being satisfaction for obtaining a two-goal lead heading into the second leg, it feels like Milan failed to close the tie out.

The Rossoneri – as has often happened this season – walked on a tightrope again. On the one hand, after a sluggish start, they shook themselves and managed to score four goals.

On the other hand, they were guilty of two defensive lapses which led a 10-man Slavia to score two goals which keep everything open in view of the return leg, especially since it will be played in the red hot atmosphere of the Eden Arena in Prague.

Even with 11 against 11 it was clear that the match would be very different from the first leg against Rennes, with the Czech side proving to be much more courageous and Stefano Pioli’s side showing several shortcomings in the defensive transition phase.

In the end, if you consider everything, the difference was made by Rafael Leao who just needed a couple of touches to create goals. In the first half he opened the scoring with an assist to Olivier Giroud and in the second half he could have had his own goal if Christian Pulisic didn’t tap it in on the line.

In the final quarter of an hour of the first half Milan had given the sensation of being able to put the tie to bed, scoring two goals in quick succession and creating several other opportunities. At the beginning of the second half, with the possibility of attacking, they went into game management.

The problem is they didn’t manage the game, conceding a second goal from a set piece. Now in a week Milan will face a more daunting prospect, with the first goal back in Prague absolutely key.


Tags AC Milan Milan Slavia Praha


  1. This team is completely out of balance as many of us were pointing in the summer and that is largely due to lack of proper cover in the middle. Media is focused on defense when in reality it’s midfield that is losing it every single match. Go and rewatch our games and focus on midfield area. Both in build up phase and defensive phase there’s a hole left and space for opposition to easily conquer whether it’s Inter, Monza or Slavia.

    Revamped midfield with all players coming from different foreign leagues (Eredivisie, La Liga, Premier) wasn’t much of a help either, so it’s a big factor they need to take into consideration for next time when they decide to dismantle a working project.

    1. True. Our defensive line up hasn’t changed from last season. Hell, even from that Scudetto season. The only thing that keep changing is on the midfield. Last season, the no-Kessie caused problems. This season, with no-Tonalli (and still no-Kessie), and all new midfield line up, well, we all know how it pans out.

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