Sacchi preaches importance of patience after Milan earn a draw against Atalanta

By Oliver Fisher -

Former manager Arrigo Sacchi believes that AC Milan need to be patient on multiple fronts after the team dropped points against Atalanta last night.

The Rossoneri controlled the game against Atalanta for large parts in terms of possession and territory, restricting them to only two shots on target, but in the end a point would have to suffice at the Gewiss Arena.

Ismael Bennacer’s shot in off the post midway through the second half cancelled out a deflected opener from Ruslan Malinovskyi. Although Pioli threw on all five changes in the second half, Milan were forced to settle for just the one goal and one point.

Sacchi spoke about the game in Bergamo during his usual column for La Gazzetta dello Sport, analysing the Rossoneri’s approach and where they could have done things better.

“Atalanta and Milan interpret football in an international way. They both trust in their game and in their work. Two very compact teams, attack with eleven and defend with eleven,” he said.

“For now we have to be satisfied, we are at the beginning of the season. It was clear that Atalanta and Milan feared each other. Both, however, played with few tactics and this is very positive.”

In the first half Milan held the ball too slowly and Atalanta scored…

“Milan had good pressure, especially at the start of the match. They tried to crush the Bergamo players in their half of the pitch. Then, immediately after the goal, they were good at staying on their feet. In general, it seemed a little Italian game to me, and this is an aspect to underline. It means that Atalanta and Milan are on the right path to conquer a European dimension.”

Atalanta more cautious than usual. Has Gasperini been a tactician?

“No, he didn’t act as a tactician. When Atalanta attack there are always a lot of them, and when they defend, they all close and compact.”

Milan had some problems in attack: short passes, little speed, Leao did not find the field in front of him and Brahim Diaz seemed outside of the manoeuvre…

“Difficult challenge for the Milan attacking midfielders. Atalanta doubles and triples their marking. It is not easy to play in such conditions, there are few spaces. Diaz did well in his first game against Udinese, while against Atalanta he struggled a lot. Leao has seen little, it seems to me that at times he is listless: you have to work on the psychological aspect so that he can make the most of it.”

One of the chances to win the game fell to Tonali as his run in behind was found by a perfectly weighted pass from Charles De Ketelaere, however Musso was quick off his line and scrambled the effort.

The changes gave Milan new energy. De Ketelaere served Tonali a golden ball. What impression did the Belgian make on you?

“He has just arrived, let’s give him time because he has to learn Italian football. It seems to me that he moves a lot, that he often looks for depth and this is a detail that should not be underestimated. The assist for Tonali is very nice and Musso is very good at stopping the shot. De Ketelaere has shown that he is talented, he must be cultivated and he must not be subjected to great pressure.”

In the middle of the field Bennacer looked good…

“Apart from the goal, really nice for the way he prepared the shot and for the accuracy, I liked the way he managed the operations in the middle of the field. Always ready to press and shorten the team to win the ball quickly. Speed ​​of touch is essential in modern football.”

What did you think the pair of central defenders Kalulu and Tomori?

“They have never suffered from low balls or crosses. They are a very reliable couple who can still grow. Milan give the impression, both in defensive and attacking phases, that they believe in their own ideas and qualities. It means that it is taking a significant step forward, especially from a European perspective.”

Is it two points lost for Milan?

“We are at the beginning of the season, let’s try to have a little patience. A draw in Bergamo is not a result to be thrown away. I don’t know how many teams will be able to win at Atalanta.”

Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi Atalanta-Milan
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