Salernitana 2-2 AC Milan: Five things we learned – mentality issues, mediocrity and mixed messages

By Ivan Stoev -

After a big derby win against Inter and a narrow 1-0 win against Sampdoria, Milan travelled away from home to face Salernitana hoping to make it three league victories on the spin.

The game started off in a great way for Milan as they opened the scoring through Junior Messias inside first few minutes, but the Rossoneri decided to try and manage the game rather than looking for a second goal, with Bonazzoli levelling before the break.

The second half didn’t go to plan either with hosts managing to score a second through Djuric, though a wonderful goal from Ante Rebic managed to at least prevent the loss. The overall performance was dreadful though, especially for a team with Scudetto ambitions. Here are five things we learned…

1. Eagle grounded

Mike Maignan has been nothing but excellent since he joined the club last summer, but had a nightmare of a game against Salernitana. He was at fault for the first goal as he had no need to come out almost to the edge of the penalty box.

That goal gave Salernitana momentum and ended up causing a lot of trouble for Milan. Maignan made another mistake too and it was similar to the one that lead to the goal, but fortunately for him Romagnoli was there to spare his blushes.

2. Leaky at the back

Romagnoli and Tomori had a rough time against Salernitana, which nobody could have expected before the game had started. Tomori was at fault for the second goal, losing Djuric and allowing him to meet a cross freely.

His partner, Romagnoli, had a better game as he didn’t commit any big mistakes at the back and actually tried to lead his team forward, but lost his composure towards the end of the game, misplacing a lot of passes and preventing his team from having a couple of more chances to potentially grind out the win.

After clean sheets against Lazio and Samp recently, this was a worrying performance against a side that has been struggling in attack throughout the whole season.

3. Back to mediocrity 

We recently praised Brahim Diaz for his display off the bench against Inter and in the game against Lazio, but then the Spaniard was a bit lost against Sampdoria and has been completely invisible against Salernitana.

Brahim has been amazing to watch on his day, but unfortunately he just hasn’t had that many since Covid and it’s increasingly looking like his good performances are the ones out of the ordinary as his struggles continue.

We will see whether Pioli considers alternative solutions such as Kessie or Krunic in a more advanced role, or even Messias or Daniel Maldini adapting to the No.10 spot.

4. Mixed messages

On one side, Rebic struck the ball brilliantly to equalise the score and give Milan some momentum to go and win it all. On the other though, after his goal he slipped back into his trend of being slack with passes and his decision making was just terrible, ruining quite a few attacks.

Rebic has been injured for a while and that was a good excuse for him to not look sharp. Against Salernitana he picked up a goal, but failed to make any other impact as he just couldn’t keep himself composed and make the right decision.

5. Missing the right attitude

The game started off pretty well for Milan as they scored just five minutes into the game. However, then they slowed down and allowed Salernitana to get back into it, and that just didn’t seem right the attitude against a side that have shown so little this season.

Even after conceding the the equaliser, Milan had an hour to react, but all of their plays looked forced and rushed. Most of the attacks for the Rossoneri finished after a misplaced pass as the players just looked like a bunch of kids that have never played with each other and struggled for chemistry.

The game against Salernitana isn’t the first one in which Milan have struggled against a smaller side. They also struggled against Sampdoria last week, despite winning, not to mention losses against Spezia and Sassuolo and a draw against Udinese.

It just doesn’t seem right for Milan to play better against the big sides and barely lose against the teams around them, but fail to carry that on against sides in the bottom half of the table.

Tags AC Milan Salernitana Milan


  1. this is exactly why we still need Ibra, maybe for another year.
    I remember he scold romagnoli for an improper goal celebration, I mean the squad is so young, if you watched the Salernitana game you’ll see how much they underestimate their opponents..

    1. We score an easy goal then fall apart like amateurs.
      Ibra doesn’t matter. These guys aren’t young anymore. That’s no excuse. Pioli isn’t a bad coach, but he can’t keep his team focused and playing together for 90 minutes. How about some discipline.

  2. Zero clue of soccer guys… we do not ned ibra rather than giroud, rebic in front is best formation. Just see how bad is our pressing… and pressing will never work if not all 10 do together.

  3. Five things I learnt from the match:
    1. Romagnoli is worth more than 2.8 m, we still need him.
    2. As much as this pains me to write, we still need Kessie, offer 8m and hope he stays.
    3. Diaz and Rebic need expiry dates, sell if not performing by dd/mm/yy.
    4. We NEED a #10, this should be our priority in summer.
    5. Get Belotti and look for a young striker. Release Ibra or keep him on staff.

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