It’s a French party in Milan as a struggling Roma side gets hammered in a 3-1 loss to Milan. Mourinho’s future looks uncertain
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AC Milan 3 v 1 AS Roma: Following their Italian Supercoppa exit earlier this week courtesy of a 2-1 loss to Milan, the win against Roma was surely a breath of fresh air for the supporters, but for Jose Mourinho, a match that will probably be disturbing his sleep for a few days.
The Special One was sent off in Milan’s previous game in the Serie A and was barred from featuring in this one. With this loss, his future looks even more uncertain with Roma hanging on loose strings.
The game against Roma was a true testament of Milan’s mental tenacity as they gave it their all despite having struggled in recent days. Let us take a look at how the action unfolded at San Siro.
AC Milan 3 v 1 AS Roma
The hosts were off to an early start with the 23-year old Frenchman Yaccine Adli finding the net from a traffic of defenders just 10 minutes into the game thanks to an assist from Tijani Reijnders.
The game was evenly contested in the first half after the deadlock was broken by Adil and when the competition got intense, so did the passion which saw Gianluca Mancini from Roma getting booked.
10 minutes into the second half and Milan had doubled their lead thanks to a header from Olivier Giroud. However, just about a few minutes later Milan’s lead was challenged as Roma won a penalty.
World Cup winner Leandro Paredes safely tucked it home to make it 2-1 and Milan’s upper hand in the contest looked a bit more fragile from there onwards.
However, the game was put to bed when Olivier Giroud flicked a pass to Theo Hernandez who blasted his shot into the roof of the net, 3-1 Milan. It was a French feast as all the three French outfield players got on to the scoresheet.
Statistics more often than not, do not reflect the actual reality and such could have been the case here. Despite losing 3-1, Roma had much more of the ball with 54% possession.
They did very little with the ball and seemed as though they were just playing pass-the-parcel, as they could only register 12 shots as opposed to Milan’s 17. Not bad at all but when you have more of the ball, you’d expect more action.
Both teams were expected to score an equal amount of games given how close it was with Milan’s xG at 1.41 and Roma’s at 1.38, showing just how intense the battle was at both ends.
Milan also defended very well, having completed 16 tackles, made 6 interceptions, won over 46 duels and attempted 27 clearances.
Despite having less control over the ball, Milan had a higher passing accuracy of 89% as opposed to Roma’s 87%.
‘The Season is Still Long’
Despite a comforting win against a very strong Roma side, Milan’s manager Stefano Pioli insisted that the season is long and the fans mustn’t get too excited with this one. Speaking to the media after the match, he says:
“We could have had a few more points. We are paying for those four matches in which we only collected two points, not playing badly. But we don’t look at the past, we look at the present and the future. We can have our say in the league and in the Europa League.”
“At 2-1, the match was certainly reopened, we needed to kill it when we did. That third goal gave us greater serenity at the end”.
“The attacking wingers did what I asked of them. Given Roma’s formation, we worked more with the full-backs. We waited for them to avoid giving Roma depth. We did okay in the defensive phase, but we can always do better.”
“Get us out of the Scudetto fight. We only have to focus on ourselves. We have a clear objective: we had a decent first round, now we want to have an excellent second round. It won’t be easy, but we can only thing about the next match.”
“We were the ones who raised expectations after the work done in recent years. When you don’t reach certain objectives there is criticism. We must always try to improve. The season is still long.”