Stefano Pioli’s decision to switch to a three-man defence has paid dividends as the numbers show just how much more resilient AC Milan have been recently.
Corriere dello Sport (via MilanNews) recall that a month has now passed since the last goal conceded by Milan, namely the Lautaro Martinez header in the derby. Since that moment the Rossoneri have put the padlock on their door and have gone without letting a goal in for four and a half games.
In the 2-0 win against Atalanta, Milan amassed their fourth consecutive clean sheet match and – when adding in the second part of the match against Inter after their goal – the Rossoneri have now gone 416 minutes without picking the ball out of the back of their net.
At the beginning of 2023 Milan had the worst defensive record of any team in the top five European leagues and yet things changed very quickly. A switch to three at the back helped, as did Malick Thiaw’s emergence and the recovery in condition of some players who weren’t at their best such as Fikayo Tomori and more recently Mike Maignan.
Now the target is to reach and surpass the 569 minutes without conceding in the five-game streak in 2018 under Gennaro Gattuso. Then there is last season’s record: after the first leg derby in the Coppa Italia (0-0), the Rossoneri strung together six and a half matches without conceding, reaching 658 minutes.
Lol, they’re not targeting that at all, they’re a defensive unit trying to contribute to winning games and conceding as few goals as possible. If that was a target then you reckon they get to 659 minutes and then say “lads, we did it, we can let in as many as we want now”
Of course not, it’s not a target.