Milan’s 5-2 defeat to Sassuolo was harrowing but the worst part about it is that it wasn’t entirely surprising, considering how poor the side has been in recent days and their form in all competitions over the last few weeks. Their last win came on the 4th of January against Salernitana and they have leaked in goals at will.
For many, the Rossoneri’s 5-0 loss to Atalanta back in 2019 was the worst performance from the side under Pioli – until now. For the context, Sassuolo had not won a single Serie A game since October and they are one of the most struggling sides in the division. They were at fourth bottom in the Serie A, before they won at the San Siro, which saw fans leave the stadium once Milan conceded the fifth goal. It was damning and the manner of the loss was much more defeating, as Sassuolo often walked past the players sometimes.
The attack looks increasingly blunt and dysfunctional. With Charles de Ketelaere struggling, Rafael Leao not upto the same levels, the right wing position still very uncertain and the number ten area also devoid of certainty, Olivier Giroud is struggling for goals. None of the recent signings have worked out, meaning that the Rossoneri have a brittle squad which has limited quality.
The team’s organisation has hit rock-bottom and the failure to replace Franck Kessie means that they have lost a certain amount of physicality in midfield, without signing of the same ilk. Ciprian Tătărușanu’s issues have led to some goals but the centre-backs have struggled – partly down to the struggles of the midfield itself. Mike Maignan’s injury has had an indirect part to play as well.
All of those issues came together against the Neroverdi, who were helped by the fact that Milan never looked threatening enough in attack and could never dictate play from deep enough. Similar things had transpired against Lazio but for these things to happen against Sassuolo is damning. And Stefano Pioli might be in trouble.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN