AC Milan’s start to the season reads nicely on the league table: two games played, two wins, six goals scored and one goal conceded.
La Gazzetta dello Sport have published a piece outlining three reasons why Milan were particularly impressive during the 4-1 victory against Torino on Saturday night.
The first was the power. Torino are a physical, hard-working and battling team that beat the Rossoneri twice last season, in the first league meeting and in the Coppa Italia. This time Stefano Pioli’s side swept them away.
Milan now have Ruben Loftus-Cheek instead of Brahim Diaz as well as Tijjani Reijnders, who has run more than 12km in each game so far. Meanwhile, Christian Pulisic has the intensity and resistance to speed, typical of the Premier League and Bundesliga, rare in Serie A.
Having acknowledged their clear athletic inferiority in the four derbies lost in 2023, Milan bought physicality, athleticism and grit with an international mercato. Inter, on the contrary, lost Milan Skriniar’s aggressiveness in defensive ability, as well as Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku up front.
Second reason: the style of play. The progress of the work that Pioli has managed to complete is almost surprising, despite so many new players and so many new ideas to put in place.
Here a comparison with Juve is fitting. Max Allegri too worked on new ideas, with the advantage of having fewer signings to embed, but yesterday against Bologna they took a step back against a Bologna side that Milan had comfortably beaten.
Milan, on the other hand, took two steps forward compared to Bologna. They confirmed the ease of build-up play and the ability to fill the opponent’s 18-yard box with each assault, while they allowed the visitors less in terms of dangerous chances compared to round one.
The third note of merit for Milan was the excitement because everyone was smiling at San Siro on Saturday. Leao and Theo celebrated their duo goal by bumping chests, Reijnders arrived smiling, then Pulisic was visibly buzzing to score his first goal at San Siro.
It is too early to make concrete judgments, but one can sense the collective spirit that characterised the Scudetto season. This is down to the merit of Pioli who immediately launched the new players and proposed new tactical solutions.