GdS: Pioli praised for Milan-Atletico tactics but Giroud sub was questionable

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan did what they could with ten men for most of the game against Atletico Madrid, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Still, Stefano Pioli got almost everything right with his tactics, even after the red card. 

As highlighted by Gazzetta Dello Sport (via MilanNews), the Rossoneri absolutely dominated the Spanish side until Franck Kessie was sent off. That changed everything and Pioli was forced to some changes that weren’t ideal.

The newspaper gave him a rating of 6.5/10 as despite the defeat, Milan came very close to holding out at least one point. And as said, they dominated the game before the red card and the tactics were really spot on.

There was, however, one doubt with regards to Pioli’s selection. In the second half, he brought on Olivier Giroud to replace Rafael Leao, who was in red-hot form yesterday. It perhaps wasn’t the ideal game for the Frenchman, as the newspaper concluded.

READ MORE: Conte praises ‘excellent’ Milan and reprimands Kessie: “You have to be more careful”

Tags AC Milan Olivier Giroud Stefano Pioli


  1. I agree that bringing in the static Giroud for Leao might not have been the best, but Leao also fades late in games. Plus, his contribution in defense is marginal and not much better than Giroud’s. Honestly, I think Pioli would have preferred to leave Rebic on and take Leao off, but Rebic had gotten a stupid yellow himself for protesting Kessie’s yellow.

    More than the Giroud sub, my issue with how Milan lined up post red card was in the formation. It was basically a 6-2-1. What kind of formation is that? Balo-Toure was LB, Theo tucked in as a CB, and on the right Saelemaekers did the same with Florenzi as RB. I constantly saw 6 defenders in a line with Bennacer and Tonali overwhelmed (and too far forward I might add) in the middle of the pitch. Theo and Alexis should have pushed up as defensive wingers in a 4-4-1, with the two rows of 4 not being more than 6-7 yards apart. Despite the ref it was only a matter of time before some triangular passing resulted in a goal, and it almost did happen in a couple of instances.

  2. it’s not right blamming giroud on pioli’s tactics after red card incident, which was not supporting giroud from advantage areas, even giroud’s ball-holding was poor that night

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