Despite being without Franck Kessie and Zlatan Ibrahimovic still, arguably two of the best performers since Stefano Pioli has been coaching I Rossoneri, the Italian giants played with great panache and endeavour.
It was the first time since November 2011 against Chievo that Milan scored at least four goals in the first half of a Serie A match, and they took 11 shots in the first 40 minutes against Cagliari, which was as many as they took in the 1-0 win against Sampdoria in the previous round.
TONALI FIND HIS PLACE AT MILAN
After arriving on loan from Brescia in the summer of 2020, Sandro Tonali found it difficult to adapt at AC Milan. The comparisons with the legendary Andrea Pirlo seemed to overwhelm him and he was not playing with the same effectiveness and confidence that he had with Le Rondinelle.
The 21-year-old has started both matches so far this season for Il Diavolo and his performances have improved significantly. Operating alongside Rade Krunic in a midfield double-pivot, Tonali was able to dictate the play from deep and the high tempo of the first half meant that he was able to move the ball on quickly.
Tonali had found the back of the net previously in Serie A just once, when he was at Brescia and it was a free-kick against Genoa in October 2019, and this time he scored his first Rossoneri goal with another stupendous free-kick.
With Kessie and Ismael Bennacer not ready to start, AC Milan have earned victories without two of their most important midfielders and the former Brescia starlet is slowly showing that he is a capable of starting regularly.
GIROUD SETTLES IN SERIE A
While Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering from a knee injury, AC Milan needed another forward who can fill the void and French veteran Olivier Giroud has already left a mark.
Giroud was the first player to score a double in first Serie A home game for AC Milan since Mario Balotelli in February 2013, and it was his first league brace since April 2018, when he scored twice against Southampton.
With Ibrahimovic playing just 19 times in the 2020/21 Serie A campaign and also turning 40 years old in October, the Frenchman deputising for the Swede and scoring goals is welcome bonus for I Rossoneri.