STADIO SAN SIRO (Milan) – The warm and noisy welcome the AC Milan players were given by the home fans when they entered the pitch for the warm-up said a lot about the importance of their Serie A game against Sassuolo, which ended in another defeat for the Rossoneri.
For the first time this season, the Stefano Pioli‘s men were urged to make a strong response after a defeat, as many were curious to see whether the 4-3 loss at Fiorentina had left any negative effect in terms of confidence.
Milan’s promising start against Sassuolo
Yet, the opening 20 minutes at the San Siro seemed to prove all doubters wrong, as the Rossoneri created a series of cut-clear chances, without capitalising on them, before breaking the deadlock through an Alessio Romagnoli’s header.
The goal from their skipper could have paved the way for the Rossoneri, who hadn’t dropped points from winning position this season, but the remainder of the match showed that something may have changed.
The Neroverdi deserve credit. Despite leaving a lot of space to Milan’s offensive players, they didn’t seem afraid by the prospect of conceding goals against the league leaders, a brave attitude which prompted an immediate response, overturning the result in the space of 10 minutes.
Discouragement and mental tiredness
At that stage, signs of discouragement started to emerge amongst the home players, an unusual reaction for an outfit who had repeatedly given proof of their character and seemed to have an answer for everything.
As the match went on, Milan were simply overwhelmed by Sassuolo, as both midfielders and defenders struggled to keep track of the Neroverdi’s dynamic and pacy attacking trio, with several Rossoneri players looking mentally tired after their efforts to win the midweek Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid.
If that’s the case, having a last chance to progress in the major European competition is no good news for the Diavolo, as the decisive game against Liverpool will once again take a toll which could affect their domestic performances.
After a perfect start to the season, AC Milan have lost two consecutive Serie A games for the first time since last April. While it may just be a coincidence, they need to leave these slip-ups behind and bring their consistency back if they don’t want to repeat last season’s second-term woes, when their dip in form could have cost them a place in the top four.
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