MN: Milan’s consistent inconsistencies in ‘big’ matches – the details

By Ben Dixon -

This season will be remembered for several reasons, with very few being positive. Unfortunately, for AC Milan, the reason, or reasons, that top the list will be the consistent issues the side have when playing ‘big’ matches, a report has claimed.

Milan have not delivered on the expectations of this season, and whilst they can still win the Europa League and look set to qualify for the Champions League, they have not won the Scudetto or even challenged for it, and they fell short in the Champions League.

Of course, if, and it is a big if considering Thursday night’s result against AS Roma, they win the Europa League, it will be celebrated, and Champions League qualification, through the Europa League or Serie A placement, will be welcomed, but there is a consistent issue with this Rossoneri side – the consistent inabilities to win in big games.

As MilanNews write, Milan have won seven of their 18 ‘big games’, drawn four and lost seven, and most of them have been by minimal margins, as can be seen below:

Serie A, 16 September, Inter – Milan 5-1
Serie A, 22 October, Milan – Juventus 0-1
Champions League, 25 October, Paris Saint-Germain – Milan 3-0
Champions League, 28 November, Milan – Borussia Dortmund 1-3
Serie A, 9 December, Atalanta – Milan 3-2
Coppa Italia, 10 Jan, Milan – Atalanta 1-2
Europa League, 11 Apr, Milan – Roma 0-1

Then, there are the humiliating losses to PSG and Inter, three and four-goal deficits. Regardless of the level of humility in the scorelines, there is a worryingly consistent issue that Milan have, and the fact that in 61% of these fixtures, they have not won shows why there have been disparities between what the squad have been able to deliver this season, and being able to go the length further.

Tags AC Milan


  1. We were rubbish last season..then we bought some players and we’re still rubbish. It’s evident af the coach is not up to the task. The alternative ofc is that the players are rubbish and he is squeezing the absolute max out of them..

    Either way it’s more practical to change the coach and see what happens than to buy 10-15 new players

  2. But , but , but, what about the 7 marvelous wins in a row vs bottom of the table serie A teams and a team from the Czech league?
    In 4 of those 7 marvelous wins Milan played with at least 1 player advantage, and vs Lazio, Milan had 3 players advantage.
    The only good team Milan beat during that stretch was Fiorentina in a game where Maignan, the GKer, was man of the match. That’s how good Milan was in that game where the goalkeeper was their best player.
    Let’s hope management works behind the scenes on a new coach because going with Pioli will just lead to another wasted year.
    Most importantly if you can’t beat inter you can not be Milan’s coach. In 5 years under Pioli Milan only finished ahead of inter in 1 year, when inter fumbled the scudetto and Milan picked it up. Outside of that, every year, in every competition Milan was either behind inter or knocked out by inter.
    Serie A, Copa Italia, Supercopa, UCL, don’t matter, inter came on top of Milan. That’s besides not even being competitive in the derbies.
    Them winning the scudetto in a derby where Milan is the home team should be the final straw of embarrassments vs Inter under Pioli.

    1. You can make an argument about how good/bad Pioli is as a coach without embellishments. Lazio lost two players in extra time when we were already winning… so yeah Milan had a 3 player advantage for only the last 2 minutes.

  3. I’ve defended Pioli here but I’m starting to agree with his critics. Losing so many big matches hurts, especially to Inter. In many of those, Pioli looked thoroughly outcoached.

    I don’t think it’s just his fault. I mean, how could Giroud miss that incredible sitter after Chuk did all the work and delivered the ball to Olivier expecting that he just tapped it into the goal? Chuk spoon-fed Olivier with a spoonful of honey; just the perfect assist opportunity, and Olivier somehow managed to hit the crossbar instead, from 6ft out!!! Jesus!!! How is Pioli responsible for that?

    And Adli sent the perfect shot at Roma’s goalie who somehow miraculously saved it, sending it to the crossbar – Pioli can’t control how good Roma’s goalkeeper is.

    This, not to forget that the game featured:

    1) An irregular goal for Roma – corner out of a clearly offside not called by the ref.

    2) A clear PK (handball) not give by the ref, despite the new FIFA orientation being for refs to indeed call this kind of handball inside the box as a PK.

    Just then and there, the score could have been 1-0 for us rather than for Roma. And if Adli’s shot and Chuk’s quasi-assist to Giroud who missed it so badly, had ended differently, we actually could have won 3-0.

    Still, Pioli seemed overwhelmed by Roma’s decision to pack the midfield with 5 players, and then, once ahead, by their parking the bus. Pioli’s Milan has rarely been able to crack teams that sit back and park the bus.

    And Pioli took too long to bring Adli and Chuk in, the two only players that actually threatened to score or assist. Maybe the result would have been different if Pioli subbed earlier. Oh wait, actually despite his dismal performance, Giroud also did one thing right: the header that Lukaku miracously saved on the goal line. Again, this in? 4-0!!!

    But sure, Roma had their chances too. So maybe not 4-0. But we could perfectly have won this match despite a horrible first half.

    Pioli ALWAYS takes too long to sub. It’s a consistent error that he displays. It frustrates me.

    And Pioli does seem unable to adapt to surprises the other coaches throw his way. I think Pioli was preparing the team for a different game, and DDR instead suddenly changed Roma’s style by sending 5 players to the midfield, and Pioli couldn’t react to that.

    I think the other coaches by now know this: “throw unexpected things at Pioli; he doesn’t know how to adapt and change strategy accordingly, so, we’ll surprise him and then we will win.”

    We do need a coach that doesn’t just plan for a match, but is able to change gears if the other team comes up with some sort of surprise.

    Is there a better strategist free in the market now? I don’t know. I think chances are that we will have Pioli for another season. But then at the end of his contract, absolutely, do replace him.

    1. I’ve started to feel that he’s also not a cup coach and in direct elimination matches he doesn’t know how to prepare for tactical traps that the other coach has prepared. If that’s the case, the club needs to prepare to get a different coach.

      On a separate note, just because DDR won, doesn’t make him a genius coach. Di Matteo won a CL by parking the bus + Drogba, but we all know how it ended afterwards.

    2. I agree we should keep Pioli for another season. Pioli is scudetto coach and now we are second in the league, so we are qualifying for champion league next season, what that mean, it mean provit, it mean money. Pioli is MONEYBALL COACH.

      with big spending in summer and with Pioli we can guarantee champion league 2025/2026. We can keep bullying the weak team in league and win possesion againts big team.

  4. Just check the stats, since 2019 Pioli took charge, Inter Milan has beaten us a whooping 10 times, we have managed to win just 3 times. During the period we have never beaten Inter more than a 1 goal margin, on the other hand, we have received some humiliating scorelines with our most recent an unacceptable 5-1 a few months ago.

    I keep saying this, we need to separate emotions in making serious decisions if we must succeed as a football club.

    The season Real Madrid sacked Capello, they won the league, but they were trashed 3-0 and 4-0 by Real Madrid that season leading to an aggregate 7-0 trashing by their biggest domestic rival, and the management saw that a completely unacceptable and hence the sack.

    But if it were my darling club, ah he won the league over Inter Milan so that’s an achievement. We look at the results and forget the process.

    Frank Kessie highlighted this as one of the major contrast between AC Milan and FC Barcelona, he claimed that at Milan, we just want to win, while at Barcelona, they want to win while playing beautiful football even when playing against your biggest competition. I mean, can we as fans claim to have that confidence in our team when we about to face a real team? I doubt that. That is what we need to analyse a good coach who can take us forward.

    Until we properly analyse the team performance especially when faced with real competition and big teams, then we will always celebrate this mediocrity.

  5. The two options currently available to replace him are Conte & Sarri. Speaking of being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  6. I would gladly put my money on Sarri if we want people football. And hopefully with a clear identity the team will start growing. The frustration sometimes is not our losses, but the fact that we look totally clueless in the process. I would take a good style of play anytime, it builds confidence and you learn to impose yourself on your opposition. Winning is about mentality half the time and implementation secondly. We sometimes lose the big games before we even started, just because of a weak mentality. Lazio might not be high up the table, but they boss teams around…and I think that is what we need from Milan..

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