Pioli praises ‘intelligent’ Milan full-backs after interesting solution against Cagliari

By Isak Möller -

In their game against Cagliari yesterday, AC Milan deployed a different tactic than what we are used to for the full-backs. It’s something that Stefano Pioli praised the full-backs for in his post-match comments. 

We are all used to seeing Theo Hernandez bursting down the left-hand side with the ball, and the same can be said for Davide Calabria but to a lesser extent. Yesterday, however, the two often found themselves further inside the box.

Hernandez almost looked like an additional midfielder at times, also receiving the ball to his feet rather than into space. When asked about the matter by Sky Italia (read in full here), Pioli revealed why it was like that.

“I’m fortunate to have two very intelligent full-backs, who know how to read spaces. Today, Cagliari were aggressive on the flanks and left us more space inside the pitch. We were good. When you have intelligent and willing players, everything becomes easier. We are having a good season, but it’s still long.”

It was indeed an interesting solution that often resulted in a chance, seeing as Hernandez is also very good at driving the ball in the centre of the pitch. Calabria was also able to intercept more in certain situations, winning it back quickly.

Tags AC Milan Cagliari Davide Calabria Stefano Pioli theo hernandez


  1. I did notice this, it was evidenced in Calabria’s run to the box too – it’s one reason I think Leao was quite quiet yesterday, his job to some extent was staying wider and making space for Theo inside, instead of him coming inside whilst Theo overlaps. Good to see them not becoming tactically stale, which was an issue last season

    1. totally agree , and stale early this season, I also noticed when action got chaotic both Calabria and Theo were venturing to opposite sides of their respective positions. Last weeks interview with Theo ,he said Pioli was basically letting him be more creative and to run free, play how you feel you are best and can contribute just DO NOT fail at your assigned responsibilities. This echoes how he is managed by Deschamps.

  2. The best part of the tactic would have been a Calabria goal.

    The Miss broke my heart. Anyways, the 3 points are a vital necessity

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