MN: 13.9 shots per game – Milan’s prolonged defensive nightmare persists

By Oliver Fisher -

Last Sunday’s clean sheet against Napoli, followed immediately by the one in the Europa League against Rennes, gave the ultimately false impression that AC Milan’s defensive phase had been patched up.

However, as MilanNews rightly point out, Milan had conceded 27 goals in 24 matches before last night and they played a Monza side that had scored just four goals in the past month. The result? A 4-2 defeat, and this moving to 31 goals conceded in 25 games.

That is simply too many for a team with the Rossoneri’s ambitions and objectives, and to date it is actually the worst defence in the top half of the Serie A table. This figure certainly needs to be improved for a smoother journey until May.

The fact is that despite the continuous errors, Milan appear undaunted and will not abandon their way of playing and defending, which often asks those defenders to stand up in one-on-one situations despite the fact the three main centre-backs have been out for many weeks now.

Despite this, there is trust and support in the coach’s ideas, as confirmed by Matteo Gabbia last night after the game, who got into a bit of a debate with Alessandro Costacurta.

“We try our defensive phase in training. Sometimes they give us a lot of positives, because we are aggressive and recover the ball in the opponent’s field and consequently we are more inclined to attack, but sometimes it exposes us to risks that we know and are aware of.”

While Milan’s goals often arise from the defence recovering the ball high up the field, the main problem lies in one fact: Milan concede an average of 13.9 shots per game to their opponents and an average of 1.24 goals conceded.

Only Salernitana, Empoli, Frosinone, Sassuolo and Monza are worse in terms of shots conceded per game, teams that are nowhere near Milan in the table. Something simply has to change.


Tags AC Milan


  1. Defensive phase note helped by defensive absences have been a persistent issue under Pioli, especially this season. Man marking in transition isn’t our strongest suit, especially since as an AM RLC is often late tracking back to help. So most of the time in transition we’re struggling to mark up…

    last game doesn’t count as you can’t effectively defend in transition with a man down when we had Oli come in for Bennacer.

  2. We all knew at the summer transfer window and change in formation the idea was to score a LOT more goals by giving up a bit of defensive stability with more possession.

    This isn’t a surprise.

  3. If there are no defensive-minded midfielders to help the defense, how about make a team effort and EVERYONE defends. I literally mean everyone. After all, the 38-year-old French striker is doing that so why shouldn’t/can’t the twentysomethings do that too?

    Last time I checked there are 11 players on the pitch and if they all do their part for the team the team will do better.

  4. This piece of data is scary…you can never compete for the league with such a stat (13.9 shots per game). You are bound to have a few go in per game, forever putting your back against the wall. So where is the problem and why is the coach/management not sorting this out. Our defense is disjointed, the midfield are not helping defensively, something has got to give…and guys if you concede, you have to score more and how do we do that when our attack revolves around Leao being in form or not…shocking stats for a top tier team. And not so long ago Braida was crucified for labeling us a midtable team. I think if Napoli, Lazio, et al were not so bad we would be a midtable team.

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