After collecting all the points from their first three games, Milan took on their city rivals Inter at San Siro and unfortunately for Stefano Pioli’s men, they were convincingly beaten.
Milan came into the fixture with more enthusiasm than last season because of the new additions and the great start. This, in turn, led the fans to believe that perhaps Pioli could get the tactics right this time out.
However, the reality was quite the opposite as Inter had no difficulty winning the game five goals to one. Pioli opted for the same tactics as in the previous four derby losses and was rightfully beaten once again. Here are five things we learned…
1. Repetition is the definition of insanity
A wise man once said that repetition is the definition of insanity, and Pioli definitely looks like a madman at this point having lost as many times against Inter. What’s even more worrying is the fact that the tactics have barely changed, that is for both Milan and the Nerazzurri. Life has been easy for the latter, in fact.
It’s true that Pioli had a different squad this time out, but that’s still not a fair argument given the way he wanted his team to press that high against a side that has proven to be press-resistant and dangerous on the counterattack.
The question now is when the management will start thinking about Pioli as a potential problem for the development of the club.
2. Defensive disaster
The scoresheet speaks volumes. Surprisingly enough, Simon Kjaer was the best defender on the pitch despite his age and fitness whilst his partner, Malick Thiaw, was dreadful.
At fault for the first two goals, then struggling to keep up, the German probably had his worst game in red and black. Whilst age could be an excuse for him, he has played plenty of games now to know better, but the lack of experience did not help either.
Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez also failed to have any impact on the game. Sure, the Frenchman made a few good moves forward, but failed to materialize them. He was also very poor at the back, giving away a penalty and just jogging back on the fifth goal.
3. Midfield woes
Although this rejuvenated Milan midfield had started the season well, the department failed the biggest test yet in Inter. Loftus-Cheek was the only positive out of the three, whilst Reijnders was always too high up the field and failed to help defensively which is probably due to Pioli’s tactics, but nevertheless a poor game by his standards.
Finally the elephant in the room: Rade Krunic. The Bosnian started the season well after a lot of fans were worried about his qualities. However, the Rossoneri couldn’t get away with him as their defensive midfielder in the derby. He did a lot of the dirty work, but also lacked too much position-wise.
4. Time for Chukwueze to get some more minutes
Christian Pulisic didn’t have a good game on the right, probably fatigued after his appearances with the USA and the travel that went with that. However, Pioli has the luxury of being able to field Samuel Chukwueze instead of the American.
The Nigerian did well with his national team and was okay off the bench yesterday. We finally saw the winger taking on some responsibility and trying to take on defenders, so it will be interesting to see him in a game that’s not already lost when he’s playing.
The game against Newcastle might just be the perfect one for the Nigerian to make his first start.
5. Reaction needed
After a shameful loss like this, a big reaction is needed in the Champions League against Newcastle on Tuesday. Inter have been an opponent that Milan just can’t seem to beat but if this downturn continues, and Milan have another period like the one at the start of this team, then the management will really need to about Pioli’s position.