Milan managed to finally prevail in Serie against Sassuolo away and are back to winning ways after three consecutive and disappointing draws.
1. Milan can play without a true striker
Over the past week, there was a lot out doubt over the centre-forward position with this Milan squad due to injuries. With Higuain sustaining an injury and Cutrone still not 100% fit, the team had to rely on Borini against Empoli. Borini himself then suffered an injury during training that ruled him out from starting against Sassuolo.
Coach Gattuso decided to go with the false nine solution, with Castillejo playing as a forward. The team started a little slow but gained momentum throughout the game with Calhanoglu and Castillejo rotating in the first half. Eventually, Castillejo got used to the position and got into the game and managed to even score his first ever goal in the Milan jersey.
2. Kessie can be the star midfielder
Without a true striker for the game this weekend, we needed the entire team to step up and create chances and make up for Higuain’s absence. That is exactly what Kessie did. In the first half, he had a chance that was cleared off the line when he chipped the goalkeeper. Then, in the 39th minute, Kessie scored the opener with a tremendous solo effort.
Apart from his goal, Kessie had great passing and tracking ability in the game this weekend. If he keeps up performances like this, he will be a huge part of the team for the years to come.
3. Keeping up pressure
Milan have taken the lead in all but one game this season and have not been able to hold on their winning position. This has been one of our biggest flaws this season, and Gattuso’s men showed that they can build a lead and hold on it.
After conceding a third in the 60th minute, Sassuolo were able to get one back in the 68th minute. Instead of collapsing, as we have in the past, we held on to the lead and even scored the 4th goal in the last minute of stoppage time.
4. The team rallied behind Gattuso
After the draw against Empoli, speculations arose about the safety of Gattuso’s position as the team coach. There have been reports that the club is thinking of Conte to replace him, and that Elliott made a trip to the training ground to speak with the team about recent performances.
With the way, the team played against Sassuolo and the reaction that the players had when they scored, by celebrating with Gattuso, it is clear that they are truly playing for him. Both Suso and Castillejo ran straight over to Gattuso as soon as they scored their respective goals. We do not know what is said in the dressing room, but by the looks of it, the team wants to play for their coach.
5. Suso finally breaks the drought
After not scoring since February this year, Suso had an amazing game against Sassuolo, scoring a beautiful curler, and a last-minute deflected goal. Suso has been getting grief from fans this season because of his poor scoring form.
To be fair, the keepers played some amazing game against us and namely against Suso’s shots. He has been an asset to the team the past 2 seasons, being able to find the back of the net when our strikers couldn’t. Now Milanisti must hope he and Higuain will be able to team up for a double-digit goal scoring season.