On Matchday 10 in Serie A, Milan will take on Chievo Verona at the San Siro. The Rossoneri managed to earn all three points against Sassuolo on Sunday thanks to a late Luiz Adriano headed goal, but they have a quick turnaround and need some key men to continue to perform
The 2-1 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday was a good result for Milan but collectively, the performance was subpar. Siniša Mihajlović of course experimented with a bit of a different approach as he awarded 16-year old youth product Gianlugi Donnarumma the start ahead of Diego Lopez. It was the teenager’s Serie A debut and despite not being particularly tested aside from the Domenico Berardi free-kick goal, he has now created a competition in between goal.
There were a few additional things to point out from the match on Sunday, starting with Alessio Cerci. Cerci made the loan move to Milan last January with the Spanish striker Fernando Torres going the other way to Ateltico Madrid. The former Torino winger has found it difficult to provide that same flair and success that he did a few years ago and he virtually became a permanent bench player under Mihajlović earlier this season.
However, due to the inconsistent play under the preferred 4-3-1-2 formation that the ex-Sampdoria manager desired, Milan were left with no choice but to act. With a 4-3-3 now being experimented with, we have begun to see glimpses of that same Cerci which is very encouraging.
Against Sassuolo, the Italian was heavily involved in the flow of the attack, applying constant pressure down the right flank and causing trouble for fullback Federico Peluso. He created a handful of chances and really seemed more confident, something we haven’t seen too much of since his move last winter. If Cerci does get the nod against Chievo Verona, he could very much be a key man down that wing.
Moving towards the midfield which seems like an on-going discussion amongst Milan supporters. The big summer haul of Andrea Bertolacci has not paid off thus far for his new club, but the former Genoa standout seems to be finding a bit of a groove. He started against Torino in a 1-1 draw, assisting the Carlos Bacca goal and despite starting on the bench against Sassuolo, he managed to provide some creativity. The 20 million euro man earned some free-kicks and became involved late once he came on which sort of went unnoticed due to the late goal by Luiz Adriano. Mihajlović has been shuffling the three-man midfield quite a bit in hopes of finding that perfect trio and it would make things a whole lot easier if Bertolacci can make one of those spots his, but he will have to earn it.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, both Cerci and Bertolacci are projected to start from the beginning against the “Flying Donkeys.” While each of them has not particularly exploded in the past few matches, its clear that slowly we are seeing some improvement. Whether or not the change in formation is the direct cause of the play is unclear but at this time, everyone in the Milan camp would enjoy more of it continuing against Chievo on Wednesday at the San Siro.