March 27, 2023

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Pioli saves the season with a new scheme. “Milan” moved to the top three defenders – and stopped conceding

Only one caeser younger than Monesi has won the IEM. He died in a car accident in 2010

Only one caeser younger than Monesi has won the IEM. He died in a car accident in 2010

Four dry wins in a row.

Milan beat Atalanta 2-0, the fourth win in a row for Stefano Pioli’s side. Also over a direct competitor!

In the first half, Theo Hernandez opened the scoring: he shot from 20 meters after Giroud’s discount. The ball was recorded as an own goal by the goalkeeper.

At the very end, Atalanta’s defense was opened with an elegant combination. Having rolled the ball in the center, they brought out Junior Messias 1-on-1. The Brazilian calmly outplayed the goalkeeper.

Milan’s defense was even more impressive. In the first half, Atalanta did not strike a single blow: this happened to the team for the first time since the Opta statistics company (since the 2004/05 season).

During the match, one of the most prolific attacks in Serie A shot only 0.1 xG (of which more than half came from a free kick that hit the wall) – the worst result for the Gasperini team in at least the last 3 seasons.

Stefano Pioli and his new formation should be praised for exemplary defensive play.

Pioli changed the scheme – and “Milan” began to win

After the World Cup, Milan fell apart. Yes, Salernitana won in the first match, but then there was a series of seven matches without a win. The deepest point of the fall was a 2-5 home defeat against Sassuolo.

Then Pioli, in search of a solution, began a tactical experiment. Right before the derby against Inter, he switched the team to a three-back formation. Only one goal was conceded from sworn neighbors, but the game in defense and in attack received a serious portion of criticism.

Pioli was not afraid of the unfortunate result. When the team got used to the new scheme through training, and the coach himself decided on the choice of players to start, a more pleasant streak began – the team won 4 matches without conceding a single goal in them. Including games against Tottenham in the Champions League and now Atalanta, a direct competitor in Serie A.

The scheme with three defenders balanced the team: in each match, Milan created more opponents and allowed little at their gates.