AC Milan 2-0 Salernitana: Five things we learned – Energy saved ahead of Liverpool clash

By Ivan Stoev -

After beating Genoa 3-0 away from home, Milan managed to get a 2-0 win against Salernitana at San Siro to make it two consecutive wins and build momentum going into the next games.

Pioli’s men started the game in the best possible way with Franck Kessie opening the scoring just five minutes in. Just over ten minutes later, Alexis Saelemaekers cut inside and scored a lovely goal with his weaker left foot to make it 2-0 and end his goal drought.

After the two goals it was a very one sided game where Milan were completely dominant but lacked a clinical touch, thus leaving the scoreline unchanged until the end of the game. Salernitana offered little to threat and stay rooted to the bottom, but here are five things we learned from the game…

1. Energy efficient

It’s fair to say that facing the team that sit last in Serie A meant that Milan had to win this game fairly easy, and they did so. Whilst the Rossoneri were dominant after the second goal they didn’t need to do much in order to control the game.

This is good news as Pioli managed to take out Leao early and leave Ibrahimovic out of the picture in order to keep his core players at a 100% for the important clash against Liverpool in the Champions League.

The only possible drawback is that after this low-paced game, Milan will need to face an opponent that will likely bring a lot of intensity to the table. Plus, of course, Pellegri went off injured.

2. Breaking his duck

Saelemaekers had two assists in the league prior to this game but zero goals, and he will be happy to have scored against Salernitana as it could be a nice moral and confidence boost for the Belgian.

He is going to have a tougher time than he has been used to in battling it out for that right wing spot with Junior Messias. Nevertheless, it was a good outing for Alexis as he brought a lot to the table in terms of attacking threat and need to build on that performance.

3. Missing pieces

Brahim Diaz is looking sharper and sharper in terms of his dribbling and was involved in a lot of dangerous attacks against Salernitana, but failed to be clinical in front of goal despite the fact he could have easily racked up a hat-trick.

The Spaniard has been struggling with his decision making in the final third and his finishing even when he was on fire at the beginning of the season, and he needs to improve in that area in order to make that leap in quality and have a pivotal role in this Milan side.

4. Pellegri not the solution

Pietro Pellegri joined Milan in the summer in a loan deal that meant he would be a third choice striker behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud. The 21-year-old has had a rough couple of season as he couldn’t really show his potential due to numerous injuries and it looks like the trend will continue, sadly.

He got his chance in the absence of Giroud and due to the fact Pioli rested Ibrahimovic for the game, but got injured just 15 minutes into the game having tweaked his muscle while chasing a ball over the top.

At this point, these injuries are making it more and more likely that the former Genoa man won’t be staying beyond this season as the striker position will be a hot topic during the upcoming transfer windows.

5. Back with a bang

Alessandro Florenzi has not been at his best since the start of the season as he has battled a knee injury that needed minor surgery as well, but he got to start the game against Salernitana in the absence of Calabria and did good on the right hand side.

Milan and Pioli can do with Florenzi’s experience in the upcoming clash against Liverpool and going into that game with some momentum could be key. Hopefully, the Roma loanee can keep showing himself as a very valid alternative to both Calabria and Kalulu but also maybe on the right wing too.

READ MORE: Interchanging forwards and constant intensity – Tactical analysis of Milan’s win over Salernitana

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