Venezia 0-3 AC Milan: Five things we learned – confidence builds but duo struggle

By Ivan Stoev -

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.

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.

READ MORE: Effective pivot and smart interchanges – Tactical analysis of Milan’s win against Venezia

Tags AC Milan Venezia Milan


  1. dimi says:

    Diaz may need some time to fully recover from covid; hard to believe otherwise as his growth and start of the season clearly displayed his qualities.
    The only sad thing here is that ACM didnt acquire another option as an attacking midfielder during the mercato, therefore now solely relying to his performance…

  2. Giorgi Kvatchadze says:

    Unfortunately, Brahim’s late poor performances give us a lot of reasons to worry and look forward to trying new tactical options to fully unlock his potential. The fact that he is very skilled is undeniable, but we need consistency from him and that has been terribly missing.

  3. Zoro Caloro says:

    Kalulu looks solid and I like him at CB or RCB in a 3 man backline I think he’d also thrive. Also, Gabbia is looking better but needs gametime. Last year he was excellent when he had to play several games in a row. Kalulu looks good bc he’s played alot. Do the same for Gabbia and he’ll be right there. I’m really proud of those 2 (Kalulu and Gabbia), good future ahead of them.

  4. keo says:

    Brahim Diaz may have some skills no doubt, but let’s be honest, he wasn’t fantastic at the start of the season, the creativity in the final third were the work of Leao and Rebic(playing as a false nine) and the overlapping play of Theo and Calabria, and the genius of Tonail and his work rate… Don’t forget that these players started this season in form and it helped cover Diaz lapses…. A good example of how Diaz was pocketed is the Liverpool game at Anfield. That sure sums up his contribution in the big games.

    Let us stop using COVID as an excuse. Leao had COVID, so did Ibra, and they picked up were they left off. The COVID cases recorded among the Milan camp have been asymptomatic cases. So what are the excuses about?

    I don’t think Diaz has gotten a rating above 7 since the start of the season, and even if he did it definitely was rated in the collective, and not because of individuality.

    Let’s face it Diaz can’t flourish in the Serie A, the aggressive marking by opposition defenses leave him isolated, and rendering him useless in the game play. He can’t hold his own when he is been tackled, he doesn’t even have the stamina.

    Pioli and the management need to start looking for alternatives to salvage our season.

  5. Rosso says:

    True keo. If u go back. And see brahim’s goals rebic used to pass him and he just needed to knock it in the net so simple. Milan should play 4-2-2-2 with rebic leao on wings and giroud ibra forwards right-left. But we dont have alternatives so this fails. Either way if milan keeps kessie he can be CAM so we’ll see or then we have to buy new guy

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