AC Milan: Champions League May Be Lost Cause

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Three losses in three matches is the current Champions League record for AC Milan. They lost 3-2 to Liverpool in the first match. Although defeat was expected at Anfield, Milan certainly put out a strong showing. They then fell 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in a match filled with controversy regarding red cards and penalties. Finally, they faced Porto while extremely short-handed and lost 1-0. At this rate, especially with top teams such as Liverpool and Atletico in the group, the Champions League Round of 16 qualification looks to be a lost cause.

It’s disappointing to a certain extent, although expectations weren’t very high as the team returned to the competition for the first time since 2014. Players are earning valuable experience and more time between matches will do them well domestically.

AC Milan: Champions League Run May Already Be Over

The Final Straw Against Porto

Milan played Porto in Portugal. It was always going to be a tough match-up, but the visitors came into the game quite hot in Serie A. With that being said, the team was completely decimated. Mike Maignan, a star goalkeeper, is out for the remainder of 2021. Theo Hernandez, Brahim Diaz, and Ante Rebic are all dealing with their own knocks. Franck Kessie was suspended due to an early red card against Atletico.

Players who rarely play for Milan, such as Ciprian Tătărușanu, Fode Ballo-Toure, and Rade Krunic were gifted starts. This isn’t ideal in a match with serious future implications. The team as a whole, however, looked rather demotivated and tired. They only lost by a goal, but they never quite seemed in the match.

It’s unfair to say Milan quit on the competition, but not far off to say that’s what it looked like.

A Potential Positive for AC Milan

First off, several Milan players are earning their first-ever minutes in the Champions League. Travelling across Europe and playing in stadiums such as Anfield, Wanda Metropolitano, and the Estadio do Dragão is fantastic experience for the players.

In addition, Milan’s squad is very young. Centrepieces such as Fikayo Tomori, Theo Hernandez, Brahim Diaz, Sandro Tonali, and more are all 24-years-old or younger. They’ll walk away from the Champions League hungry for more.

The Serie A season is young, but Milan find themselves in a solid position to win the Scudetto. Currently, they’re in second place with 22 points in eight matches. That equates to seven victories and one draw, with that draw coming in an away match at Juventus. The only team ahead of Milan is Napoli, who have won every single match, but of course, that isn’t sustainable.

Inter Milan remain solid, although are not the same team as last season without Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku. Juventus are always a threat, but suffered a rough start to the season and are, of course, without Cristiano Ronaldo now.

When healthy, Milan is extremely talented and quite deep. The young players are stepping up, while the team has veterans such as Olivier Giroud, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Simon Kjaer. They have a serious chance to become champions of Serie A and focusing on that as their sole competition may be key.

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