The defending champions were the beneficiaries of some of the most daring moments of the season, and there were some very smart ones, too.
Here are five things we learned about the defence that went wrong in Milan’s 3-1 win over Bologna on Saturday.1.
When did Milan’s defence need to be so good?
The Blues were superb defensively against the Bianconeri, conceding just five goals, a remarkable tally considering they finished second to Juventus in Serie A. That was their best defensive record in the entire season, with their tally of four clean sheets being the best of any team in the league.
This was largely due to a strong centre-back pairing of Gennaro Gattuso and Nabil Bentaleb, but it was a strong midfield that kept the Italians out of trouble.
Milan’s attacking players were also very good, with Mario Balotelli scoring a brace in the game and Andrea Pirlo adding another goal.2.
When was Milan’s goal against Bolognese worth?
It wasn’t a penalty that was conceded, it was Milan goalkeeper Gianluca Lapadula’s own cross, which led to a penalty.
The Blues took advantage of this opportunity and converted the penalty, putting the game out of reach.
A similar situation happened when they conceded a penalty in the 1-0 defeat at Roma in the Europa League.3.
Who was the best defender?
As was mentioned above, Milan’s centre-backs are one of the best in the world.
But when it came to their defence, it wasn’t all about the pair.
Gianlucio Ambrosini was the man to step up to the plate, while his compatriot, Federico Fazio, made his presence felt at right-back.
Ambrosinis’ presence in midfield made a difference and, when Milan had possession, the Biancocelesti struggled to create chances.4.
Why did Milan lose their way against Roma?
It’s clear that Milan have had a problem in defence this season.
This is not surprising considering the way the team lost 3-0 to Lazio at the San Siro in January, but there were a number of reasons for the loss.
The main one was a lack of concentration.
They were caught out of position when the ball was moved around in the final third, but were also too often caught out in possession.
This meant they didn’t have the ball in the right place to make a proper run and didn’t put the ball on the line.5.
Did Milan need a change of direction?
They could have had better defensive shape.
The Bianconero’s attack didn’t look so great, and Milan’s midfield lacked pace, but they could have done a better job of breaking up the play.
The defence, though, was far from a bad unit, and they had plenty of chances to score in the first half.