Parma 1-3 AC Milan: Five things we learned – the good, the bad and the ugly plus inspired changes

By Ivan Stoev -

After the disappointment against Sampdoria it was crucial for AC Milan pick up all three points against a Parma side fighting to stay in the top flight, and they did just that.

The game started off quite well for Milan as they managed to score just eight minutes into the game after a lovely combination up front and a powerful shot from Rebic into the top corner. Milan were the team in control and it was looking like it is going to be a comfortable win after Franck Kessie doubled the lead in the 44th minute.

However, despite the lead, Ibrahimovic somehow managed to anger the referee in the 60th minute and received a straight red card for something he said. The Swede’s dismissal left his team sweating till the end of the game as Parma pulled one back five minutes after the red.

Fortunately for Pioli, Rafael Leao managed to score in the dying embers of the game after a lung-busting run from Diogo Dalot and sealed the win after a lovely counter-attack. Here are five things we learned…

1. The good, the bad and the ugly

It was a day mixed with emotions for Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he was arguably the best player on the pitch before getting sent off.

The Swede registered a lovely assist for the opening goal and was heavily involved in the build-up for the second, but eventually ruined his good outing with the immature red card he received.

At 39 years of age Pioli would have surely expected him to set an example and not go into verbal arguments with the referees as he is now going to be suspended for the next game, unless a possible appeal is successfil.

2. Much better by Theo

It was much better display from Theo Hernandez compared to the one against the Sampdoria. The Frenchman picked a nice assist for the second goal and his decision making looked better although he did make a few wrong passes and whilst having a good game he still seemed a bit off.

However, the main thing was to bounce back from a shocker against Sampdoria. Theo can cause a lot of damage to the opposition and he will need to find the consistency going into the future, but needless to say he is still only 23 years old and has plenty of time to clear the mistakes from his game.

3. A joy to watch

It feels so good watching both Kessie and Bennacer in the midfield yet again. While the Ivorian was the one under the spotlight against Parma his partner had a good game too in his second start back since a long injury.

The Algerian is still finding his pre-injury form, but looked quite good against Parma as it was pretty obvious to see his abilities to get out of tight position and move the ball forward with either dribbling or sharp passes. It was really pleasant to watch and the more game time he gets the more his confidence will come back leaving his injury behind.

4. Rock solid

It was a superb performance yet again for both Kjaer and Tomori. The two have formed a solid partnership at the heart of Milan’s defence and things are certainly not looking good for Romagnoli, as even without an injury it is hard to imagine him replacing either of the two at the moment.

The Dane was at his usual best commanding the back line with the Englishman continuing to impress as his move to Milan might just become permanent with the management loving what they’re seeing.

5. Pioli’s choices payed off

We have recently criticised some of the choices the coach made, but against Parma he was certainly spot on. Matteo Gabbia and Dalot slotted in nicely off the bench with Milan playing with three centre-backs after Zlatan was sent off. Leao came off the bench to try and put some pressure up front and while that was hard he did kill the game off after both him and Dalot were in the centre of a killer counter attack that secured all three points for Milan.

We didn’t really see much from Krunic to judge him, but out of five substitutes only Meite looked a bit lost as he misplaced a few passes and wasn’t bringing much stability to the midfield. Other than that the choice Pioli made seemed on point and paid off in the end.

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Tags AC Milan Parma Milan


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