One thing became clear after the AC Milan derby victory over Inter Milan: it’s finally time to start taking the Rossoneri seriously again. Talk about Milan winning the Scudetto are still premature, but they’re now a legitimate top four threat. As of right now, Milan find themselves at the top of the Serie A table. Milan have won all four matches and have a very impressive goal difference already, scoring nine goals and conceding one.
The Impressive Resurgence of AC Milan
History on Their Side
Milan have been known as a “sleeping giant” for the past decade for a good reason. They have the second-most Champions League trophies and the second most Serie A titles. They just couldn’t stay down forever.
Stefano Pioli’s squad are currently on an undefeated run of 20 matches in all competitions. Only six other Milan managers have ever done the same, including the likes of Fabio Capello and Arrigo Sacchi. It’s impossible to compare Pioli to those managers, but it speaks volumes of his squad’s current run.
In addition to that, Milan have now scored in 24 consecutive matches. This has not been done since 1973 when Milan scored in 29 matches in a row.
The last statistic will have the Rossoneri faithful jumping in joy. This is just the fifth time in the history of the club where Milan have won their first four matches of the league season. The last time this happened was in 1995/96, under Capello.
The majority of the squad elevated their performances after Pioli was named manager. The same goes for this season – it is hard to find poor individual performances. With that being said, a few names stand above the rest as the top performers. They are Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ismael Bennacer, Franck Kessie, Simon Kjaer and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Ibrahimovic is the name on everyone’s lips right now after his brace against Inter. Before that, he missed the last two league games due to COVID-19. He did play the first match of the season versus Bologna and delivered another brace. As a result of his impressive form, the Swede is averaging a goal every 45 minutes in Serie A.
Calhanoglu is the director of the attack. He only has one assist in the league so far but is a constant threat going forward. Europa League qualifying has been his bread and butter, as he has recorded four goals and two assists.
The midfield double-pivot of Bennacer and Kessie is fantastic. The duo dominates every game they take part in. What makes them so special, however, is both of their talents defensively and upfront. They are great tacklers and readers of the game, but can also deliver fierce long-shots or passes cutting through the opposing defence.
Lastly, Donnarumma is the one that can always be relied upon. Although he hasn’t been put up to too much work in most games this season, he’s always there when it matters most. The penalty shootout versus Rio Ave is a perfect example.
Looking Ahead for AC Milan
Milan have a tough run of matches coming up. On Thursday, they travel to Celtic Park to take on Celtic. Next Monday they take on Roma in Serie A. There are a couple of more-winnable matches after that, but playing Lille, Napoli and Fiorentina in the space of one week later in November will be tough.
It’s still too early to call Milan a favourite to win Serie A or even Europa League. What’s different this season than years prior, however, is coaching continuity and consistency of results. If Milan can keep this up, they should make the top four in Italy and make a run in Europe.
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