MN: How Milan’s pre-match plan unravelled into chaos in Rennes

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan may have secured qualification to the last 16 of the Europa League against Rennes, but last night was their second defeat in a row and it produced more questions than answers.

MilanNews write how Milan arrived in France yesterday literally knowing exactly what to expect: a super attacking team that would do everything in the first minutes to score at least one goal and reopen the contest.

What was the plan? Given the notable technical superiority, the hope was that the Rossoneri would play the match with the right commitment and with the right malice, without exposing themselves to situations that the opponent could have used to show their qualities.

What happened? Exactly the opposite. In the first 10 minutes Milan wasted four big chances to take the lead, and then in the 11th minute the home fans began to believe as they went in front with their first real shot.

Pioli deployed a three-man midfield which in theory should have provided coverage and density in the key area of ​​the pitch. However, what happened in practice was far from that.

Ismael Bennacer was deployed as a midfielder with the right to move forward and as a result often found himself in the attacking zone, decentralised almost as if he were a winger, and in fact Rennes’ first goal came from a ball he lost in a bad area of the pitch.

Yunus Musah was deployed as a left midfielder to provide support to Rafael Leao and Theo Hernandez in coverage. Tijjani Reijnders, the most attacking of the three, was placed in front of the defense with playmaking and management duties.

The result: a mess. Milan had to manage things with calm given they had a 3-0 lead from the first leg, but instead from the first to the last minute there was chaos.

Not only the coach ends up in the dock, who once again failed to give balance and defensive solidity to the team, but also the individuals.

It is right to make the players responsible, who this year have unfortunately shown that they lean towards self-management from the point of view of motivation, raising the level of pace and performance only when there is the feeling that the match counts for something.

It is precisely for this reason that the coach’s statements in the press conference at the end of the match were eye-opening: “I’m not angry. Of course we didn’t want to lose, not to concede three goals. Conceding so many goals is something we absolutely need to improve. Congratulations to our opponents anyway.”

Qualification was obtained and Milan can continue their European journey, but the attitude must improve or there is certainly a risk that it could end soon.


Tags AC Milan Rennes Milan


  1. ‘Tijjani Reijnders, the most attacking of the three, was placed in front of the defense with playmaking and management duties.’
    Ismael Bennacer, the most defensive of the three, was placed highest up the pitch.
    But, people will tell you Pioli knows what he is doing.

    1. If a coach cannot experiment when he’s up 3-0, I don’t know what to say.
      Lazio and Atalanta are the real test for the coach and the team

  2. The player wasted 4 big chance in the early 10 minutes and its piolis fault again. If that 4 big chance work, it is not because pioli but individual performance LMAO

    1. I disagree, big better teams than Milan miss many more chances and yet are much better performers on the pitch.

      I Pioli once again played the Wrong tactics and the team were in chaos. He must go if Milan are to go to the level needed to win trophy’s.
      They will be exiting the tournament soon especially if the play Liverpool, Leverkusen, Brighton ect. Pioli will have 3 loses after this weekend when they play Atalanta!

  3. Pioli has proven to be the issue at Milan. In my opinion, after he won the Serie A he has not shown any improvements tactically or management the squad.

    We bought an entire team yet he can’t rotate properly and play the players out of positions regardless of injuries or not.

    You can’t have a squad like we do and go to Rennes and lost the way we lost, which boils down to the coach. Pioli needs to be sacked at the end of the season as it is not going to happen before that or maybe defeat to Atlanta will prove to be the achilles heel.

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