MN: Milan blitz Juventus thanks to three expert tactical chess moves from Pioli

By Oliver Fisher -

The decisions made by Stefano Pioli before and during the 3-0 win over Juventus have been described as a ‘tactical checkmate’ by MilanNews.

Pioli had courage and took risks that he could have paid for dearly, but he was convinced of his work during the week and of his ideas, and with three moves like an expert chess player he knocked the Old Lady down for the Rossoneri’s first win at the Allianz Stadium.

Defensive selections: The media reported throughout the week that there would be a battle between Kjaer, Romagnoli and Tomori to fill two of the centre-back spots, and Pioli decided to leave Romagnoli on the bench in favour of the Englishman.

His choice was rewarded as the duo out there showed painstaking attention on aerial balls and impeccable control of the penalty area, almost never being worried by Ronaldo and Co. They left an asphyxiating mark that did not allow the Juventus offensive manoeuvre to breathe at all.

The masked formation: Even for tactical systems that work best, the risk of becoming predictable is always there and that is why Pioli opted for a wild card of sorts. Rebic and Leao were available but he chose Calhanoglu on the left, Brahim Diaz in the centre and Saelemaekers on the right wing.

The surprising choices sent the Juventus rearguard into a tailspin as the three attacking midfielders were totally interchangeable and fluid, attacking zones and helping to create an unpredictability that was pivotal. Choosing Brahim Diaz as a starter turned out to be decisive as he was a real thorn in the side for Juve with his goal, and he will hopefully be a real weapon for the final three games.

The Croatian dynamo: Pioli knew he had some tricks up his sleeve by choosing to leave Rebic on the bench, and though his introduction was forced due to Ibra’s injury, he could have easily gone with the faster Leao to try and score a Parma-esque counter-attacking goal.

It took Rebic just over 10 minutes to add his name to the scoresheet as he found the top corner of Szczesny’s goal with a thunderbolt from just outside the box. He was flawless in big plays, so calling on the Croatian was yet another successful move by Pioli.


Want more Milan? Check out our podcast, take a look at our shop and join in the discussion over on the Rossoneri Discord!

Tags AC Milan Juventus-Milan

5 Comments

  1. Ahmed Mohammed says:

    A game well played, we’ve won the battle the war is still on, Forza Milan

  2. Viking malta says:

    The bridge is not too far now, keep on the good work. Forza Milan da Malta.

  3. Ed3lm4n says:

    A lot of people should show some decency and say a good word about Pioli now. Milan lost points in previous games mainly due to individual player errors, not because of tactics. Chala and Mario waisting every chance against Lazio, Tomori vs Sassuolo, … But everybody thought it would be easier to blame the coach. Even before the game against Juventus most were shouting that he made a mistake by placing Diaz in the team, saying it wasn’t the game to try an experiment and on the other hand that Milan has become predictable. It’s mostly those supporters that have become predictable. Of course Pioli hasn’t been 100% perfect, but no coach ever is. If it wasn’t for the players letting him down in some games, we would have secured CL already. I hope we get it and the coach receives the recognition he deserves for it. He has done a great job with such a young group and it hasn’t only been thanks to Ibra that they regained confidence. If we would have had a striker with the availability of Lukaku, we would have been a title contender. Let’s hope we find one for next year.

    1. Charles says:

      Lol his tactics are predictable you dont know nothing about soccer. Its pioli fault . Dont you see we defend in 4 5 1 against juve. Did you see him use the 451 formation again atalanta and inter second leg. Imo pioli is a bad tactician he was forced to use different tactics for first time a against juve. Dont you see reduced distance between our players. What i think is the players refused to train with same tactics and pioli lost dressing room and thats why he decide to try something different . Its pioli fault we rise and fall this season

  4. Ed3lm4n says:

    Charles, you seem to know a lot of what’s happening inside the dressing room. It’s like if you where there. I say that’s all speculation what you say and Pioli has been confirmed for next year is what Paolo Maldini says. I may know nothing about ‘soccer’, but you seem to know nothing about Milan. Pioli isn’t the best coach, but he’s definitely not bad at all. If we would have made a bet in the beginning of the season that Milan would be fighting for second place until the end, many would have said the coach would have done a great job. I don’t see any other coach get a better result with this group at the moment. If Ibra would have been more available, the results would probably been even better. Or are you going to convince me how great Leao or Mandzukic performed in his absence? Milan lost points mainly due to individual player errors in the last games, not due to tactics. If Pioli wasn’t a decent tactician, how could he have come up with the game plan against Juventus? I think Charles expects a bit too much of a coach and not enough of the players.

Comments are closed