Sky: Milan’s defence improves but break will be crucial – the reasons

By Oliver Fisher -

The numbers of the last month indicate an improvement in the performance of the defence for AC Milan, and over the break Stefano Pioli will be able to work with them more.

As Sky reports, with the exception of Theo Hernandez who has been called up by France and Pierre Kalulu who has suffered a new injury, all of the defenders will be available to Pioli over the two-week break.

It comes after a March that went against the trend in terms of the number of goals conceded. Milan let in five goals in five matches across the league and the Europa League, so on average 1 every 90 minutes. Only in August did Milan manage to do better as an average, and that was only two games.

In autumn and winter, however, the Rossoneri had a far higher average of goals conceded. The many absences in the department had an impact without a doubt, and since March Pioli has had almost everyone available again.

Thiaw and Tomori have missed almost a third of the season, Kjaer 25%, while Kalulu’s 29 games missed will increase by a few more after his ligament injury. Having all the starters available at Milanello (except Theo) over the break should help improve the mechanism even more.

However, the trend under Pioli suggests this isn’t much of a surprise. Only in the season of the Scudetto win had Milan conceded less after the 29th game of the season, which tells a story.

If in February the Diavolo had the 12th-best defence in Serie A, today Milan have the seventh-best rearguard, but still the worst among the top four side.

It is therefore important to rebalance, because Milan have the second-best attack behind Inter and that gives something to build on, especially if they are to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Europa League.


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