After two consecutive wins, Milan travelled to Venice in an attempt to continue the good run and put some more pressure on Inter.
Stefano Pioli had to rely on the same players that he did in Rome with Calabria, Tomori and Romagnoli still out, but the game started off in brilliant fashion for Milan with Ibrahimovic opening the scoring just two minutes into the game. After that, the Rossoneri gained some momentum and tried to double their lead, but were held to a single goal lead up until the half time whistle.
In the 48th minute, Theo Hernandez scored to make it 2-0 and from then onwards to Rossoneri were in full control of the game, in which they eventually went a man up and score the third goal. Pioli will be glad that his men managed to secure the win fairly early on and were able to preserve some energy for the important games coming up soon. Here are five things we learned…
1. Simply unplayable
What a performance by Theo Hernandez. The Frenchman picked up a hockey assist and two goals and was by far the best player on the pitch, winning our MOTM award.
Theo has been the captain in the last two games and he has adapted to having the armband quite well, as he was excellent against Roma and Venezia. Defensively he kept the opposition quiet and caused havoc going forward and the left-back also did not give away the ball or commit sloppy errors, something which he has been guilty of in the past. Theo seems to be back at peak form and it’s amazing to watch.
2. Electric once again
Another player that came back and seems to be enjoying life is Rafael Leao. We mentioned how much of a game-changer the youngster was last week off the bench against Roma, but this time he started from minute one and had an instant impact, providing an assist for Ibrahimovic just two minutes into the game.
He then managed to pick up another assist after a lovely through ball towards Theo Hernandez and was unlucky to not pick up a goal himself. With Leao and Hernandez both looking in form, Pioli can smile as that left-hand side is looking pretty scary for any opponent.
.@RafaeLeao7 🆚 Venezia
😍 The two assists…
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) January 10, 2022
3. Keeping up the good work
After a very capable display against Roma, Matteo Gabbia and Pierre Kalulu continued to impress against Venezia as they left little to nothing for the hosts to work with.
The Frenchman in particular has barely put a foot wrong and continues to prove how important he is for Pioli. It would be interesting to see if he could manage to win himself a spot in the starting XI in the recent future as he is still young and full of potential.
Gabbia was also solid and continues to gain some momentum as he helped his team keep a clean sheet, and although it wasn’t a flawless performance there is plenty to suggest he is benefitting from some minutes and confidence is building.
4. The struggle continues
It was yet another game in which Saelemaekers battled to impose himself in the game but couldn’t which is a bit worrying, especially because of the fact that Venezia should – on paper – be one of the easier opponents for Milan.
The Belgian has had some good performances when it comes to his attacking contribution, but he also has quite the underwhelming ones which is a bit of a concern given that he can’t find some sort of consistency on the high level we’ve seen him play.
In the second half when Messias came on, it was easy to see that the Brazilian can bring a bit more flair and creativity on the field despite not producing anything breathtaking, though he had credit in the bank from the goal vs. Roma.
5. Time for a change
Brahim Diaz had another disappointing performance in which he failed to produce anything worth remembering and after seeing Daniel Maldini play in the last quarter of the game all fans could probably agree that he looked fairly good for the minutes he had at his disposal.
For this reason, it wouldn’t be surprising if Pioli gave him a chance from the start against the likes of Genoa in the cup on Thursday night and possibly even Spezia on Monday.
On the flip side, the coach might be forcing Diaz to play more in an attempt for him to regain his form, but it has been quite a while now in which the Spaniard has failed to make an impact and might be the right time to give him a break.