Tuttosport: Energy and results – how Pioli’s formation change has rejuvenated Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

Head coach Stefano Pioli has brought new life to AC Milan with a system the Rossoneri were known for 30 years ago, Tuttosport reports.

As Monday’s edition of the newspaper notes (via MilanLive.it), it was the great Arrigo Sacchi who essentially perfected the 4-4-2 system while at Milan, built around the great Dutch trio Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten.

Now, everything seems to have come full circle. Although used by Sinisa Mihajlovic in 2015-16 with mixed success, it feels like the change in formation could bare even greater fruit for Pioli.

The system is based around the idea of not leaving Zlatan Ibrahimovic alone up front. The Swede is already at the center of the Milanese project, but it is imperative that he has a strike partner to get the best out of his aerial ability and hold up play. Rafael Leao has performed the role perfectly so far.

The 4-4-2 also appears to be bringing the qualities out of Ante Rebic – qualities which had not been seen at Milan prior. Having played up front against SPAL in the cup, the Croatian became the hero against Udinese with his direct style playing on the left side, scoring a 93rd minute winner.

A plan to bring enthusiasm, results and energy back to Milan – but the team cannot lie on their laurels after only two wins in a row.

Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic