Fiorentina 2-1 AC Milan: Five things we learned – both phases exposed

By Ivan Stoev -

After four consecutive clean sheets, Milan traveled to Florence with the hopes of clinching the win against Fiorentina, who have had a mixed season, but La Viola came out on top. 

The game didn’t start off well for Stefano Pioli and his men as the first half was dominated by Fiorentina, who were unfortunate not to be ahead at half-time. Maignan denied them on several occasions and there was also a goal-line clearance by Fikayo Tomori.

Early in the second half, Tomori went from hero to zero as he conceded a very sloppy penalty that was converted by Nico Gonzalez. Milan tried to react and had a couple of good chances but instead, Luka Jovic doubled the lead in the 87th minute.

Milan did find a goal in the end through Theo Hernandez in the 95th minute, but it was too late to make anything else out of it. It was an unexpected collective drop in quality by the Rossoneri and here are five things we learned…

1. Maignan’s efforts not enough

The Frenchman had a lot on his plate on the night as he managed to make several saves to deny Fiorentina. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the defenders in front of him really did disappoint and allowed too many clear chances.

It was, however, a reassuring performance by the Frenchman who recently got back from an injury and there is no doubt he will be a crucial part of how the season ends for Milan, both in Italy and in the Champions League.

The keeper also got the highest rating in our post-game ratings, which says a lot about the rest of the squad, given that Milan lost the game.

2. Defensive collapse

After four consecutive clean sheets and really impressive defensive performances, it was a real letdown against Fiorentina as Malick Thiaw, Fikayo Tomori, and Theo Hernandez just weren’t for the challenge, and that proved costly in the end.

It was unusual for Thiaw to commit that many mistakes and he lost his marking on the second goal. Tomori gave away a very sloppy penalty in a situation where Thiaw could have intervened to help him and neutralise Ikone. It was very hard for Milan to claw back after that penalty kick, especially given they were already struggling to create chances.

Hernandez was also beaten on several occasions and he was nowhere to be found on the second goal with Fiorentina exploiting the space he left empty. A very underwhelming performance that mustn’t be repeated against Spurs if Milan want to advance to the next round of the Champions League.

3. Toothless without Leao

It was always going to be rough without Rafael Leao but following the Atalanta game, you wouldn’t have expected Milan to be so toothless in attack even if their star man was unavailable.

Unfortunately for Pioli, Ante Rebic was nowhere near as dangerous as the Portuguese. The Croat almost never made the right decision and was selfish at times when he could have passed to a teammate for a big chance. It’s obvious that Rebic isn’t good enough to be a replacement for Leao and he may be on his way out in the summer.

Charles De Ketelaere was another one that didn’t particularly shine although the Belgian did have his moments, unlike Rebic. But in the end, he didn’t threaten Fiorentina either.

Following two consecutive games in which he scored, Junior Messias also underperformed against La Viola as he failed to make the most out of a clear header in the first half.

4. Tonali and Bennacer struggling to keep up

Ismael Bennacer was back in the starting XI after recovering from an injury, but he wasn’t on the needed level to help his team escape from Fiorentina’s press, which might have been expected after weeks of absence. He was also subbed off fairly early, which was probably for the best as Pioli will need him well-rested against Spurs on Wednesday.

Sandro Tonali was also sub-par in that midfield as he failed to help in both phases of the game, and he lost multiple duels throughout the game. The Italian can and must do more.

5. The forward dilemma 

Olivier Giroud started the game up front and had a couple of good chances that he couldn’t convert. And apart from those chances, he was very poor throughout his time on the pitch.

Divock Origi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were introduced in the second half, with the Belgian being probably the worst performer on the night as he failed to make any impact on the game yet again.

The Swede, on the other hand, was quite good with his build-up play and he involved himself in the game. However, it remains to be seen how many minutes he can actually play on a high level and he is definitely not a solution to the attack given his age.

The management will have the tough job of finding a striker that can actually make a difference and also create chances for himself, as this has been an ongoing issue for Milan for years.

Tags AC Milan Fiorentina Serie A


  1. Hopefully this is a blip against a Fiorentina side that have done well at home but there are some ongoing concerns.

    Pioli’s next big decision is what to do about Tonali.

    If Adli put in the performances we’ve seen from Tonali he wouldn’t even get 7 mins.

    Most of Milan’s problems at the moment are coming from the fact that we get dominated in midfield leaving the defence exposed and the attack isolated.

    Speaking of the attack Giroud has to be one of the worst strikers I’ve ever seen at holding up play. The 1/10 times he does it the commentaries always marvel at his hold up play but most of the time it’s awful. Why can’t he just take a touch and play a simple pass the way he’s facing???

  2. The real problem for this team all season is the midfield. We are getting dominated in the midfield every week and it hurts both the offense and the defense. Tonali should sit and we should give a chance to Adli or Vranckx to see if maybe they can step up the way Thiaw has. If Milan is smart they should sell Tonali now while there are still some people who believe he has talent.
    On the offensive side I would like to see Ibra play from the start against Salernitana. The offense flows a little better when he is in there and Giroud needs a rest.

    1. Leao was there for the past two months and did not help either. This was just another reality check for us fans that Atalanta game made us believe and we all forgot how bad those 1:0 wins really were

      1. Exactly, those 1-0 wins felt lucky and like the opponent wasn’t good enough. Now we play like we did the last few weeks but have a opponent who scores against us and then you get this

        1. Are you talking about last year or this year, because nothing has changed.
          The only thing that changed is the other clubs have improved and Milan is the same.

          Pioli doesn’t have a plan he just hoping on some intervention from Leao and Co to help him out!
          Good luck with the rest of the season

          1. Milan is not the same. Milan is worse this season. We lost our best midfielder and did not replace him. That is the biggest difference this season.

  3. We cant compete with Bennacer and tonali against teams with 3, 4 or 5 midfildiers. We need a third one and he should be Vrancks. He is is very modern. He is not the best in anything but he is good in everything.

  4. Exactly what I have been saying. Without Leao attack is 0. Giroud is a glorified wooden pole, that is how his first touches look, he can’t direct a ball towards a player in 80% of touches. Also, you idiots wrote about a 1000 comments why didn’t Pioli play Thiaw, what about yesterday? He was such a fail, maybe that is why he didn’t play earlier? BECAUSE THE COACH SAW IT IN TRAINING? Maybe? Idiots.

    1. Usually the one who is seeing idiots everywhere is the true idiot.

      So you are bashing “all the idiots who wanted Thiaw to play” just because the lad played one not-that-great match after 3-4 absolutely flawless performances and now you show your “superior knowledge” and say “Thiaw has always been crap and always will be and that’s why Pioli never played him anyway”, right?

      And yeah, keep using the i-word. You’ll be making lots of new friends with your civilized way of discussing. 🙂

  5. “struggling to create chances”; that says it all. It is useless to point out individual mistakes and not mention the mistake of the strategy adopted by the team.

  6. Milan is not the same. Milan is worse this season. We lost our best midfielder and did not replace him. That is the biggest difference this season.

  7. We lose key points of Pioli’s System when vs Fiorentina. No high pressing, not accurate passes cost us to struggled to get in final third.

    If we use 3-men back & still want an attacking football, we need more fluid than that. We was too structured, like we want to go cattenacio, not attacking.

    In this Pioli system, we need intensity (press well to destroy opponent’s gameplan) & quality (accuracy at passes to get in to final third. And we failed both of it. Fiorentina enjoy that match too much.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.