SERIE A | Cremonese 0-0 Milan : Rossoneri held by tough defending

Last Updated on 09/11/2022 by

The oldest Serie A supporters will recall that Milan has never had it easy playing at the Giovanni Zini Stadium in Cremona. The trend was in fact confirmed on Tuesday night when the Rossoneri were unable to overcome Cremonese in Serie A Round 14.

Few clear-cut opportunities were created during the game, and Stefano Pioli will be disappointed that his forwards were unable to damage one of Serie A’s weaker teams.

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After a free kick was headed away, the ball broke for Brahim Diaz on the edge of the box, giving Milan their first shot on goal. Marco Carnesecchi easily caught his low drive. As Milan continued to play slowly, Cremonese had a good stretch of possession that ended with a promising ball across the box that somehow missed all the Grigiorossi players in the area.

As Malick Thiaw received his first-ever start for the club, Milan’s tactical alignment was closely watched at the beginning of the game. As a result, theories circulated that Thiaw, Fikayo Tomori, and Simon Kjaer would form a back three, with Junior Messias and Fode Ballo-Toure serving as the wingbacks. As soon as the game started, it was obvious that Milan would use a back three whenever they had the ball, which allowed Ballo-Toure to demonstrate his abilities much further up the field.

Milan was putting on a very tedious performance at this point, but Messias made the game’s first effective move in the 23rd minute, cutting the ball across the near post to Diaz, who was rushing in. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to make enough contact with the ball.

Sandro Tonali then delivered a fantastic cross that was perfectly timed for Ante Rebic to score with a simple header. However, his connection was weak, and the ball sailed past the goal post. After Rebic released Origi, who had his shot saved by Carnesecchi, the chances came thick and fast.

Around the halfway point, Tonali entered the box and saw his low pass across to Divock Origi intercepted just in time, adding to the pressure on the Cremonese goal. In the first half, Thiaw nearly scored on his debut when the goalkeeper palmed away a strong header from a corner. Despite being hit hard by shots from Messias and Rebic, Carnesecchi remained unwavering.

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Milan believed they had the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Origi was able to poke home after the ball broke kindly for him in the box. He was offside when he received the ball, as evidenced by replays, and the goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee.

Origi’s involvement in the game ended there after Pioli replaced Rafael Leao with him. The Diavolo needed more firepower, according to the coach, in order to avoid needing another late goal. With less than 15 minutes left in the game, Pioli decided to play Charles De Ketelaere because Leao had yet to have any significant impact. Belgian replaced Diaz on the field.

Milan did not exhibit the same level of creativity as they had toward the end of the first half, with the exception of the sporadic foray into the box that ultimately ended in nothing. The Rossoneri were effectively controlled by the Cremonese, who were seated in a low block.

In the final ten minutes, Cremonese found openings on the break. Tomori had to play well defensively to stop a shot from David Okereke, which resulted in a corner that had no effect.

Pioli substituted Marko Lazetic for his first senior action, but he already received a booking for pushing and shoving in the box before the ball was even touched. Lazetic had the final opportunity of the game, but his shot went over the crossbar after he made a good turn in the box.

Milan couldn’t have been too upset that Cremonese had held on to what is a fantastic point for them at the bottom of the table given how little offence they produced toward the end of the game.

At the end of the game, there is a huge brawl among the players that may have been sparked in part by Milan’s frustration, but the players can only blame themselves. They were never able to effectively dismantle a relatively weak Cremonese team. In the 57th minute, Origi scored, but VAR disallowed it for obvious offside. The hosts struggled to make any forward progress while in Milan’s half and, as a result, spent the majority of the game defending.

With a draw, Milan would still be in second place and be eight points behind Napoli. Italians are ranked 18th.


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