Another week and another AC Milan defeat. This time it was Lazio who went back to Rome with all three points in a familiar sight for the Stadio San Siro faithful.
What is probably more worrisome for Milan, is the fact that they have won just four games all season, three of them against teams in the bottom four – SPAL, Genoa and Brescia – and three that will like be fighting a relegation battle come May.
Now, Milan are in a period of the calendar which sees them take on Roma, Lazio, Juventus and Napoli (with SPAL sandwiched in between). And in two of the matches against Serie A’s fellow big clubs they have lost, with the latter two next up for Stefano Pioli.
It is quite feasible that Milan will win their next Serie A game in December when they visit Parma, and right now that is far from certain.
Champions League qualification is the ultimate goal this season, and looks laughable given passage to the Europa League is nine points away, and when you look at the competition Milan would face, things don’t look good.
Atalanta look strong once more, Lazio, Roma, Napoli are all there they should be and have put in impressive performances at times this season. Even Cagliari are putting together an enviable string of wins.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Rossoneri, as Pioli is making changes and it looks like Milan are headed in something of the right direction. In the last three home matches – Lecce, SPAL and Lazio – the performances have been steadily better, even though results haven’t been completely positive.
That said, Pioli needs something of a miracle to drag this squad to European football next season, as is the stated goal of the club. There are too many drifting along, there is a mental fragility, and as the losses mount up, a lack of belief becomes apparent.
The general quality and squad building is also a problem which has bloomed this season. Of the team that started against Lazio, one year ago, two were at Empoli, one at Genoa and two at Flamengo.
Asking such a large percentage of a starting XI to step up and play at the very highest level, all at the same time, is tough, and Milan are paying the price right now.
No Luis No Party
All the headlines from a Lazio perspective will go to Ciro Immobile who bagged his 100th goal for the club – in just 147 appearances – but credit should also go to Luis Alberto, it was his no-look pass which sent Joaquin Correa on his way to the match winning strike.
That makes it seven assists for Luis Alberto this season, more than any other player in Serie A this season. How much more can he improve? Who know. But one thing is for sure, that with Immobile, Correa and Luis Alberto, Lazio will be a handful for any team.