MN: Why fielding Kessie as an attacking midfielder worked and when it could be used again

By Oliver Fisher -

Stefano Pioli’s decision to field Franck Kessie as an attacking midfielder during the win against Empoli is still being taled about by the media.

MilanNews writes how the choice proved to be a winning one as he scored twice before the interval, but it wasn’t just getting on the scoresheet that made it a fantastic decision because it in fact helped Milan in multiple ways.

Kessie asserted himself not only in the possession phase, managing but also in the non-possession phase, because he was very good at neutralising Empoli’s regista Samuele Ricci, who is very important in the build-up schemes of Andreazzoli sitting at the base of the midfield diamond.

In a delicate position like that of the central attacking midfielder, the physicality of a player like Kessie certainly helped because he can impact the game on and off the ball, and it could be worth trying again in the future against sides who play through the thirds and have a deep-lying playmaker, or even in European games.

This is also true given Tonali and Bennacer are able to act behind in the double pivot, break up the construction phase of the opposition and move the ball vertically quickly.

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Tags AC Milan Franck Kessie


  1. either Pioli learn something about tactic or just lucky because he wants to play the three of them. Bennacer is able to play in that position also good in defending. So why not Bemnacer as AM?

    1. Exactly, Bennacer is not only able to play in that position but he spent most of his youth career playing in that position. He wasn’t a DM or CM really.

    2. Maybe because Bennacer cannot shoot. His shots are pathetic and IF they happen to go towards the goal, they go straight at the keepers – and slowly.

  2. It worked because Empoli is trash. We were essentially playing with 10 players mist of the game. Giroud could have stayed home and no one would have noticed. Granted we played 9 against 12 when Yoko came in, but him actively playing against us is now so obvious, I have no idea why his loan isnt terminated .

    Bottom line, we could have played blindfolded and still get the same result.

  3. We didn’t even have a decent performance by any means; scoreline is kind of flattering tbh.
    At least the positive result gets rid of some pressure.
    Yet, not convinced the formation actually worked. The match against Roma would be a difficult one (especially if the stay behind, defend and counter attack as per Mourinho trademark style)

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