Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud have been the leaders of AC Milan’s attack over the past couple of years, but both are experiencing a strange league goal drought at San Siro.
This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes that on New Year’s Day, Leao could reach 100 days without a goal at San Siro, but he has one last chance against Sassuolo tomorrow to make sure he doesn’t bring up the milestone.
Stefano Pioli and the team also cling to him: Leao is the player who, more than others, can restore enthusiasm and with that enthusiasm they seek the consistency of results that Milan needs to re-emerge from a dark period.
Leao’s last home goal came on 23 September and it was the only goal in a 1-0 win against Hellas Verona. Remarkably, 98 days have passed since we saw Rafa surf and for a forward of his quality this feels like an eternity. It also remains his last goal in the league and so the count stands at three.
His production has halved compared to last season: six goals on the 14th matchday of the 2022-23 season; then there were 50 total shots and in this one only 25. In general, participation in team play and the feeling of danger that weeks ago offered at the first touch of the ball has decreased.
Giroud’s last home goals in the league are even more distant memories: it was August 26th, the season debut at San Siro, when he netted a brace against Torino. From summer to mid-winter without scoring is too long.
The Frenchman continued to net away from Milano: against Roma, in Naples, Lecce and Bergamo. An overall tally that brings him to eight, a total that he did not have after 14 league games in any of his seasons at Arsenal and Chelsea.
The home void remains, so when adding Leao and Giroud together it makes for seven months of abstinence: three for Leao, four for Giroud. A paradox for the two best Rossoneri scorers of the last ten years: 47 goals for Rafa, 41 for Giroud. It is a void that needs to be filled quickly.