On the eve of the match against Chievo (which is just one point below, by the way), mr Mihajlovic is said to confirm Donnarumma as the goalkeeper, while Luiz Adriano seem to be destined to end up  on the bench, even if he scored the winning goal in the last match. The first choice makes good sense, since after the mistake against Sassuolo, the young player could be led to think he was rejected; the second one must be driven by a tactical reason, even if, given the evidence of the near past, it is hard to find it.

The most awaited player is probably Cerci, who is going to play with Bacca and Bonaventura, while the midfielder Bertolacci is replacing Poli.

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He still has to convince the fandom that he is “Milan material”, but the last two matches are a good base to start with.

As for the defense, Alex and Romagnoli are the center of the 4-men line, Abate (who is soon to be replaced) and Antonelli occupy the flanks.

Maybe it is because of the rain, but after 15 minute, nothing really happened. The only save is by Donnarumma, but it is just for the show, since the attacker is three meters ahead of the defensive line.

Frankly, you have to admire the fans: it is raining, it is cold, and the match is boring, and they are chanting and pretending they are having a good time.

At the 20th, the first serious attempt, a header by Bertolacci: high on the bar.

Now, Milan seem to be more aggressive: Cerci, Bacca and Bonaventura play a faster and bolder soccer than in the last matches.

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At the 30th, there is the second shot by Milan, but it is so far from the post that nobody would dare to consider it a real attempt.

Trying to see the bright side, at least Milan players seem to know what to do; problem is, it is seldom the right thing.

At the 33th, Cerci tries with a curve shot, which goes dangerously just past the post. Good try, 

At the 43rd, a header by Pellissier is about to go in, Donnarumma saves.

At the end of the first 45 minutes, finally, the public starts booing. Milan tried to “do the match”, with very poor results. As for Chievo, it is doing nothing, but it is doing it fine. It is somehow ironic that it got the only chance to score.

The second half begins and Milan attacks immediately. Kukca is imperious in taking the ball near the Milan area, Bonaventura gains a penalty: then Kucka hits a header, 

Now Milan is really trying: at the 52nd minute, Bacca manages to keep the ball in the Chievo area, then passes to Antonelli, who shot a slow, precise ball which kisses the post and then it ends into the goal.

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Chievo must do something, but it is hard to change habits once you got the wrong ones.

Montolivo is really in charge into the midfield and Alex is a strong confident central defensive; Kukca shots at least five times, always misses but his presence in the midfield is invaluable.

at the 67th  Paloschi shots, Donnarumma makes his first great save of his professional career,

The most surprising thing, Milan is playing simple and fast. Kukca (thrice!) and Cerci are giving real problems - and a headache - to Chievo defenders, Bacca just misses a very good chance.

Cerci goes out - Honda is the replacement - and the stadium finally pays him some respect.

It is difficult to say if the offensive phase of Chievo is really poor or the Milan defensive line is authoritative. Maybe both.

There are 2 minutes left for Luiz Adriano, who replaces Bacca and almost scores…

The match is over: for the very first time, AC Milan has not suffered a goal and, players leave the court among the fans’ cheering. Probably it won’t last, but this is not the night to worry about the future, the present being good enough, even if the top of the italian ranking is still far, far away...   

In the meantime, Roma regains the top of the rank, nothing Milan should care about right now.

 

  #Football