GdS: Milan get by against Rennes but more worries and doubts emerge

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League but they cannot feel satisfied with the way they did it after losing the second leg against Rennes last night.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes that Milan won’t make much progress if they play like they did in the return leg in France. Rennes tossed them around and remained in the running for qualification until the final minutes.

The Ligue 1 side won 3-2 and another goal – to make it 4-2 – would have certainly aroused a lot of panic and they certainly had the chances to score at least on more. It didn’t happen, but after the first leg it shouldn’t have been so difficult.

The defensive phase continues to be disastrous, the paper adds. Three more goals conceded in one games, after the four last Sunday in the league against Monza, means seven goals in two games that the Rossoneri have let in.

It would be unfair and wrong to blame the entire defensive department. Yesterday it was a team problem and an attitude issue as Milan allowed themselves to be compressed in their half of the pitch, as demonstrated by the difference in centre of gravity.

Rennes held a very high average position, at 60.4 metres, effectively invading Milan’s half of the pitch. Milan, on the other hand, were at 46.7 metres which is too deep and meant almost 15 meters of difference.

If this line were maintained against Liverpool or Bayer Leverkusen, possible future opponents, the defeat would be inevitable. The Rennes match will have to be analyzed with a critical spirit, it is not possible that Milan suffered against a willing medium-level team from Ligue 1.

Milan were held hostage for a long time by the dynamism of the two midfielders, Bourigeaud and Desiré Doué, and by the talent of Gouiri on the right. It was a 4-3-3 against a 4-3-3, but with different interpretations.

Rennes had nothing to lose and attacked without worries, while Milan feared that the pure formality would turn into an epic defeat, one driven by the stormy weather, rain and wind from the nearby Atlantic.

Most of all, the permeability is a concern: Milan get punctured easily and the attack no longer compensates for it. The returns of Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori will restore solidity, but it is not a question of individuality.

It seems that Milan no longer defend as a team and that the midfielders are suspended, almost undecided between build-up and the defensive phase. Now, the hope is not to get a too challenging draw.


Tags AC Milan Rennes Milan
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