Pioli must fix leaky Milan: seven goals conceded in two games

by | Nov 29, 2021 08:54

Milan, who suffered their second consecutive defeat in Serie A when Sassuolo scored three at San Siro on Sunday, have conceded seven goals in two games and are without a clean sheet in four league games.

The Rossoneri have struggled domestically but secured a win in the Spanish capital against Atletico Madrid, which gave Milan hope of a possible qualification to the last 16 in the Champions League.

Serie A | Milan 1-3 Sassuolo: Scamacca stuns Rossoneri

Stefano Pioli’s men lost 4-3 to Fiorentina in Florence, the first in the league this term, and the Neroverdi continued to stun the Diavolo over the weekend.

The match against the Viola had many positive aspects and a few regrets after a well-played game by the Rossoneri.

But the defeat to Alessio Dionisi’s men on Sunday showed a different side of the squad, as they didn’t manage to react to the setback in Florence.

Mike Maignan was back in the starting line-up, when captain Alessio Romagnoli scored the opening goal.

Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca equalised with a great finish, before Simon Kjaer’s own goal turned the match around for the Neroverdi, who seemed to be in control of the momentum after going up 2-1.

Domenico Berardi made it 3-1 after 66 minutes and Romagnoli was sent off 11 minutes later to make the task even harder for the home side.

Pioli: ‘Milan lacked sharpness and made mistakes’

Milan didn’t manage to bounce back, as Pioli’s admitted the team ‘lacked sharpness and made too many mistakes in the 3-1 defeat to Sassuolo.

Inter are thus one point behind their local rivals and Napoli broke free at the top of Serie A with a big reaction to their first loss in Serie A – the 3-2 defeat to the Nerazzurri just over a week ago.

Napoli bounced back with a 4-0 win against Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio on Sunday and are thus three point clear at the top of the table.

Pioli needs to solve the leaky defence immediately, even if he didn’t want to blame only the defenders after another heavy defeat in the league.

But seven goals conceded in the last two games demonstrates a defensive blackout for the Diavolo and a team aiming to fight for the Scudetto can’t afford many of those performances.

Pioli’s men have one win in the last five games across all competitions but have a chance to make things right already on Wednesday.

The Rossoneri travel to Genoa, aiming to keep their first clean sheet in four league games.


  1. Maldini Heir

    I’ve given up on Romagnoli.

    It was one of the worst performances I’ve seen from a professional defender.

    And the fact that Berardi’s goal and his sending off happened on his stronger side just makes it worse.

    What I can’t fathom is that that used to be his strength.

    Up until January year ago he was a decent defender. He had his weaknesses with pace but he was pretty solid. He was ever present in Milan’s run in the 19/20 season when we turned it around and finally became competitive again.

    And the one thing he did really well was push people wide playing on the left hand side of defence.

    What happened?

    How does a person “forget”?

    This is the thing that will never be understood about sport with all the nonsense about “world class”, “GOAT”, FIFA ratings rubbish. The difference between great and ordinary comes down to the head.

    And Romagnoli has lost his. I don’t think he’ll recover it at Milan. I’m sure he’ll go to Juve and become “world class” again. But I just can’t see him recovering it at Milan. Somethings gone.

    We need to let him and sign a new CB in January.

  2. Vogel

    Milan as a team are doing the exact same thing they did after Xmas last year, just a month or two earlier.

    Milan led the league on xmas day 2020, but Jan-March 2021 was awful, and in the end were lucky to scrape 2nd (and CL qualification) on the very last day.

    Pioli needs to turn the heating off and make the lads get back outside training properly because they don’t seem to be any good in autumn/winter.

    Otherwise it’s just downhill from here to April.

  3. Rosario

    @Maldini Heir

    Yet another embarrassing case of scapegoating.

    At least Romagnoli did the one constructive thing on the pitch yesterday…score a goal.

    1st goal – 100% Bakayoko’s fault. Absolutely nothing to do with Romagnoli
    2nd goal – Unfortunate own goal – nothing to do with Romagnoli
    3rd goal – 100% fault of one of the most experienced players in the team criminally giving away possession on the edge of pen area.

    Berardi is no mug. Defrel who’d just come on and was fresh is no mug.

    IF you allow your central defender to be isolated in 1vs1’s, 9 times out of 10, the outcome is always a bad one. Either a goal is scored or the defender has to resort to a foul.

    I’m not saying Romagnoli hasn’t regressed. BUT. There are individual mistakes all over the team.

  4. Rosario


    Nothing about Milan finishing 2nd last season was luck, fortunate or undeserved. 100% deserved to finish second.

    Second half of last season, Milan barely managed to field even 70% of the first 11 on a regular basis. Went to Old trafford with a chopped and changed side, wingers playing at CF etc etc, and still dominated the game. Inter were a great team and 100% deserved to win the title. But they had strength in depth and more fortunate with injuries. We’re still waiting to see Milan’s first 11 actually play together this season as well.

    Nothing about last season was ‘luck’

    I’d also like to remind fickle people like you that these two defeats are the first since playing lazio away in April. That’s nearly 7 months of no defeats. Professional football is not FIFA or football manager. Footballers aren’t robots.

  5. Acemilan

    Agree with Rosario, you just can’t leave a CB 1 v1 with the forward. As a coach that is a nightmare. You are correct about the isolation. If the CDM is not dropping when Theo makes a run that changes the dynamic completely.
    I always liked Romagnoli because he seemed to play CB with authority , when you are pegged back in a 1 v 1 coverage position, well that’s all you can contribute without taking to big a risk.
    Now the CB is is a reactive position rather than proactive.

  6. rosario sempre inter

    Do not worry you guys will still finish in the top 4. Romagnoli will leave probably to Juventus as they like free stuff. Thank you for gifting us more presents.

  7. Rosario


    Wonderfully insightful comment. Refreshing.

  8. Maldinis heir

    @ Rosario I’m not scapegoating anyone. Others were also at fault. But Romagnoli was also at fault specifically for those two instances both of which occurred in positions that a few years ago he would have coped with.

    And this is the reason I focused on Romagnoli, because it’s part of a decline we’ve seen over the past 2 years.

    It’s interesting that before the game Nocerino was saying much the same thing but was also saying that Romagnoli needed to be given a run of games to get his confidence back.

    I’ve said the same thing. I have been desperately hoping he’d get his form and confidence back but he keeps making these terrible mistakes. We simply can’t justify renewing his contract no matter how much I admire his gesture in dumping Raiola.

    This is the thing. My scapegoat is someone I greatly admire. But there’s no getting away from it, he’s just not the same player anymore.

  9. Milan Fan

    Our squad in not as good as Inter or Napoli. We don’t have as much quality and then there’s players like Kessie with their contractual situations who play one good game and destroy our own team in the next. Pioli has done wonders in my opinion, but he need better, quality players who are compatible to his tactics and Milan’s current style of football.

    On Romagnoli I have nothing to add, as I’ve been saying for two years that he’s just not good enough, at least not for Milan and our style of football. He was a good young defender with a lot of potential, but he regressed instead of improve, kinda like Ranocchia did in his career. Imo he’s not even worth 2m a season. Better ship him out and get somebody else.

    @ Acemilan
    Pioli just said in his interview the other day that we play a certain kind of football that inevitably leaves some one on ones situations for our defenders. All the best pressing teams in Europe face the same situation more or less. That’s the risk you take playing that style of football with a high line and so much pressing/attacking with numbers. Liverpool, City, Bayern they all face counter attacks where their defenders are left one on one with the opponents. Thing is, you need a Tomori in that situation, or at least an experienced Kjaer, not Romagnoli. Romagnoli in his best years and days used to be the biggest back-tracker after VVD (but with much less quality than him) he would literally back-track into our own goal when good opponents ran at him, so I don’t know why he suddenly decided to rugby tackle Defrel now. He’s lost his head.

    And do you thing Tomori is a reactive defender or a proactive one? I’d say he’s a mix and that’s why he’s so good. Football has changed. It’s always evolving.

  10. Bunga2

    IMHO, Romagnoli is a decent, if not good, defender. However, he clearly is unsuited with the way we play as it exposed his weaknesses more. Idk, maybe if he went to the right team like Atleti perhaps he would be back to his best again, but playing with high lines clearly doesnt bring out his best traits.

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