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Europa League, Milan-Slavia Praga 4-2

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Europa League, Milan-Slavia Praga 4-2

Among the Rossoneri on target are Giroud, Loftus-Cheek, Reijnders and Pulisic. In the Czechs goals from Doudera and Schranz, after Diouf’s expulsion after 25′. See you in Prague in a week

All’s well that ends well, but there are inexorably two points of observation. The short-term one is smiling: a two-goal lead is a good treasure to take to the Eden Arena in Prague. The medium-term one is gloomy: if Milan in the cup is the one tonight, imagining reaching Dublin is an exercise in pure dialectics that does not reflect the reality of the facts. The Devil concludes the first round against Slavia Prague with a 4-2 which does not reflect the wide difference in technical values ​​between the two squads but which above all was much more tiring than expected considering the numerical superiority for over an hour of play . The Rossoneri, clouded by fear, at a certain point even risked a 3-3 draw and dropped the four of a kind which delivers relative tranquility only five from the ninetieth. In Prague, however, you will have to sweat a lot.

the choices

The rotations can wait, if anything we will see them on Sunday against Empoli. Pioli certifies the strong appetite for this cup by practically confirming the eleven that won at the Olimpico. Only one change compared to Lazio: Bennacer on the bench, with Reijnders regaining his starting jersey after two games as a reservist. So Kjaer and Gabbia are central and Adli very confirmed in front of the defense because the game system remains the 4-1-4-1 of the latest outings, with Loftus-Cheek and Reijnders as advanced attackers. Attack delivered to Pu-Gi-Le for the twenty-fifth time in 38 games. Trpisovsky relied as usual on Chytil (4 goals and an assist in this Europa League). First clear notes after a quarter of an hour of play: Slavia is well placed in their defensive organization and occupies spaces expertly, but the quality is what it is. If targeted, individually the Czechs were in a state of apnea (two Rossoneri free kicks from the edge of the area in the first ten minutes). The argument is also valid in the offensive phase, absolutely tangible because Trpisovsky has educated the team in courage regardless of the context. The problem, in fact, lies in the technical skills of his players. Severe errors: in the 12th minute Diouf, totally forgotten by the Rossoneri defence, volleys home the volley and in the 15th minute Gabbia – a disturbing step backwards compared to previous performances – misses the mark on Doudera, who however coordinates poorly.

alarm

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The Devil thanks them, but they are worrying alarm bells: with a different opponent, things would likely have gone differently. Milan’s main problem is that he isn’t intimidated by it. The Rossoneri produce a web of passes that are ends in themselves without sinking, without accelerating, without getting angry. It looks like the next day’s cool-down training, with Gabbia and Kjaer exchanging the ball endlessly without the help of a teammate who makes a half-move. Boring, slow and distracted gameplay flow. The game forcibly changes face in the 26th minute, when the Turkish whistleblower Meler shows the red card directed at Diouf for a rough call on Pulisic. Slavia loses its important left-wing striker and is preparing for a long numerical inferiority. But in reality, at that moment, not even this managed to ignite Milan, who continued at a slow trot and began to make San Siro impatient. An inertia interrupted by the advantage of Giroud (34′), who slips behind Zima and heads the Czech goal. It lasts a short time, very little. Two turns of the hand and Doudera finds the goal to tell about to his grandchildren by hitting Maignan with a fantastic right-footed volley following a lopsided clearance from Reijnders. At that point, finally, Milan revived and made a breakthrough in the match. First Leao and Gabbia try with headers (super Stanek on the Rossoneri’s 46) and then Reijnders succeeds with a violent right-footed shot from outside the area (44′). The hat trick was served in the first minute of injury time with a header from Loftus-Cheek following a corner from Florenzi.

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slap

Three to one, a double hook to the chin from Slavia and a seemingly easy downhill match, also given the numerical superiority. Nope. Pioli begins the second half by inserting Calabria and Tomori for Florenzi and Gabbia, Leao concludes near the post (sinning for selfishness) but in the 20th minute the Czechs shorten the gap: Schranz’s right-footed counter-ball is executed masterfully but Hernandez, instead of climbing, centralizes and leaves it alone. It’s a slap that hurts. The ball, which was finally sliding lightly, becomes a medicine ball. Milan returns to the contracted team of the first part of the match, accumulating one error after another in construction (but also in the defensive phase) and in practice the benefits of the extra man dissolve in fear. Like ten minutes from the end, when a mix-up in the Rossoneri area makes the sixty thousand of the Meazza’s hair stand on end. The challenge gets back on more comforting tracks only five from the ninetieth thanks to the soloist’s inspiration, because only an individual number could have changed the match and qualification prospects. Milan once again thanks Leao who drinks Vlcek and directs a pass towards goal which is deflected slightly by Pulisic. San Siro sings again after a few whistles, but what an effort.

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