Lecce 2-2 AC Milan: Five things we learned – defensive and attitude struggles

By Ivan Stoev -

AC Milan continued their negative trend as they drew 2-2 against Lecce on Saturday, making it three consecutive negative results. In short, the Rossoneri have a lot to work on. 

The first half of the game was a nightmare for Stefano Pioli and his men. Theo Hernandez scored an own goal in the third minute which gave Lecce the confidence to seek a second, and they got it in the 23rd minute. Frankly, Milan were lucky not to concede more.

The final 45 minutes were a different story for Milan as they got one back through Rafael Leao in the 58th minute, followed by an equaliser 12 minutes later courtesy of Davide Calabria. However, that was pretty much it as Milan failed to create anything worth mentioning in the last 20 minutes.

Milan now sit 9 points behind Napoli and might have to focus on solidifying their place in the top four instead. Here are five things we learned…

1. Kalulu continues to struggle

It wasn’t the Frenchman’s day as his error led to the first goal, and he was also at fault for the second. The youngster grew a lot in the last season and was always composed beyond his age, but this time around he was all over the place and earned himself the lowest rating in our post-game ratings.

Hopefully, he can shake this bad performance off and be ready for the clash against Inter as he has certainly shown how good he can be even at this tender age for a defender.

2. Shaky from Hernandez

The Frenchman was unlucky to score an own-goal early and wasn’t able to correct his mistakes. The good part about his rather poor performance was that he got subbed off at half-time and thus got some more rest ahead of the Supercoppa Italiana.

The left-back has established himself as one of the best in the world so this shouldn’t be more than a one-off, but the team’s overall form has been dropping so there are some worrying signs for Pioli.

3. Tatarutsanu a liability 

The absence of Maignan has been felt deeply at Milan as his replacement, Ciprian Tatarusanu, has not been spectacular in goal.

The Romanian has had his moments, but largely he just struggles to command the defence and on top of that, his goalkeeping hasn’t been great either with his reflexes being nowhere near those of Maignan.

Some of the goals Milan concede seem impossible to save, until you see the same situation at the opposite end of the pitch and it doesn’t result in a goal.

The keeper is a liability and is not of the standard of the league and the management needs to address that if Maignan will be out for months.

4. Still no impact from the bench

It was another game where Pioli had nobody to bring on that could change the game. Dest did well coming at half-time, but mainly kept it simple which prevented him from giving away the ball, but also did not help his team going forward and that was the main target.

Origi had a couple of nice involvements and had a moment where he found himself in the penalty box, but took ages to decide what to do instead of getting a shot off and wasted the good opportunity so he too continues to not be a useful resource.

Messias started well on the right, but it only lasted ten minutes or so as he faded as the game went by. The only question mark on the night was regarding De Ketelaere as he remained on the bench, but in all fairness, given his performances we can’t even blame Pioli for not playing him.

5. Attitude shift needed

Most worrying of all was the attitude that Milan had in the first half as they seemed to lack the hunger we saw throughout the whole of last season. We saw glimpses of it in the second half, but overall it wasn’t the team spirit that we have gotten used to.

Having said that, the final against Inter will be a chance to win a trophy and give the winner a huge boost in the league too and Pioli will have to make the most out of the opportunity to ignite the fire in the squad.

Tags AC Milan Lecce Serie A


  1. Milan should switch to 3 man midfield. Pobega and Krunic best play as mezzala. We also have quality regista on Bennacer and Tonali. The later can also play as Mezzala. Even Saelemaker able to play as Mezzala. Put Diaz and Messias as RW. CDK can play as CF, even as mezzala too. OMG, why Pioli can not see this. 433 or 352

  2. Pioli is so stubborn, that’s Milan’s greatest problem, it’s not like the players ain’t adequate but it’s that pioli is trying to remold them to his system that is clearly not working. Tata like the article has said is a big liability but Pioli is bent on playing him always to what end I do not know . A simple switch of formation will see us doing well

    1. “, it’s not like the players ain’t adequate but it’s that pioli is trying to remold them to his system that is clearly not working.”

      This! I’ve been always saying the coach should change the formation/tactics based on the players available instead of trying to desperately transform the players to fit a certain role. For example, if we don’t have a RW available, switch the system to something that isn’t relying on a RW.

  3. In my humble opinion, the team needs to practice the set pieces. Milan cannot score when they have a corner or a foul outside the penalty area and they consume a lot of goals from corners and set pieces.

    1. True. Milan very rarely score from set pieces but have the leakiest defense in set-pieces. Kjaer staying fit for the rest of the season would help a bit but in the end it’s a team play and everyone needs to do their part. And that isn’t happening now.

  4. U ovoj ekipi Milana je problem što u njoj mogu igrati Magnian , Hernandes , Leao ,Benaser , Tonali ,i Tomori !!! Ostalih 18 igrača su ili prestari ili totalni ŠKART!!!

  5. but unfortunately, when these observations are talked about, one would be criticized that its the scudetto winning coach that is being complained about.
    with all due respect, we need a 3 man midfield in any formation that the coach should try, the players we have would always thrive well in a 3 man midfieldv(adli, krunic, bakayoko, tonali, vranckx, messias, salaemakers) but the coach would remain with his choices.
    when we played salernitana, their coach resumed 2-3 days earlier, i remember many other players that started playing whe they 1st joined their clubs (lucumi, soppy, etc) but in milan, a new player must wait for years “to be ready” as the coach says, you must add weight, must understand the body language of the coach and every other thing, look at when theo, bennacer, leao etc started, they made them wait so long, calling that preparing them is bull shit, we are the only club that has not allowed any youth player break into the team, after donnaruma, calabria etc(God bless Mihailovic).
    so many things are wrong, from the owners, to the management, to the medical staff etc, we all love milan does not mean when we complain we are being not appreciative like some fans would always love to insult people as long as their views dont agree with theirs

    1. Good point. Other teams aren’t afraid of launching new players immediately. In Milan the new arrivals must be in 20 training sessions before they can be let in to the starting 11. It’s insane.

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