AC Milan were once again left with a blunted attack amid Rafael Leao’s absence in the game against Fiorentina on Saturday night as they fell to a 2-1 defeat.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews) this morning writes how Milan with Leao is one thing, but Milan without Leao is another thing entirely. The games against Napoli, Sassuolo and Inter – all of which ended in defeats – were clues and the loss against Fiorentina was definitive proof.
The Rossoneri are at an average of 2.2 points per game when Leao is on the field, but when he is not available it drops to 1.2, a huge gap that cannot be merely a coincidence.
What makes the Portuguese forward absolutely essential for this Milan is his creativity and in the last nine matches the Diavolo have only scored more than one goal on two occasions: against Atalanta and Sassuolo.
The new defensive structure has brought about more stability but it is also true that they have lost most of their danger in the opposition half, yet Leao still has the ability to find the decisive play even when it doesn’t seem like his day. The assist (plus pass that should have been an assist) for Messias against Atalanta shows it.
Rafa will return to London on Wednesday for a match on the big stage against Spurs in the Champions League second leg and a big performance is needed. Leao is third behind Vinicius and Dembelè in dribbles for this year’s Champions League.
Whoever says Leao is bad this season doesn’t understand football. If he wasn’t there Giroud would score 4 goals per season with Rebić/Origi and Messias/Saelemakers on the other side. Or in new formation. If we lose Leao and Theo that team is average.
Exactly as I commented after the game.. he’s basically our entire offense
Exactly as I commented after the game.. he’s basically our entire offense. But we’re also attacking less as a team unlike last year and more dependant on Leao