Tottenham 0-0 Milan Five things we learned, Pioli deserves plaudits, solid defense

Original title: Spurs 0-0 Milan Five things we learned, Pioli deserves to be applauded, the defense is solid

After a 1-0 win on February 14, AC Milan traveled to London for a Champions League last-16 rematch against Tottenham Hotspur in an attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2012.

The Rossoneri had four straight wins and four clean sheets before Saturday’s loss to Fiorentina, meaning Stefano Pioli stabilized the situation after a disastrous January.

The defeat against Raviola at the weekend did not seem to affect Milan, who looked solid from the start until the closing minutes before allowing Tottenham to create any dangerous chances. Much of the game was actually pretty boring from a neutral point of view, but that meant Milan did a good job.

The funniest moment came in the 94th minute when Maignan made a superb save from Harry Kane’s header to set up Milan’s counterattack before Divock Origi hit the crossbar.

It was a dull game, with Milan reaching the quarter-finals of Europe’s top club competition for the first time in 11 years. Here are five things we learned:

1. Magic Mike

Mike Maignan had a rather quiet night until the crucial moment of the game, in the last six minutes of the game, but he commanded the defense throughout the game, when his team When trying to attack from the back, he is eager to get involved.

It’s nice to see Magic Mike look confident right away, yelling and giving cues to defenders in front of him, something that might have been lacking in his absence. It was a truly spectacular performance, with a superb save from Kane’s header at the end to seal qualification for his side.

2. A solid line of defense

Maignan’s rather quiet night was also due to the excellent work of the trio of Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori and Malik Giave in front of them.

Jia Fu forgot that pretty tough performance against Fiorentina, he was very calm against Tottenham, especially helping the team in aerial duels and set-pieces, he won almost everything, and he was strong enough on the ground Kane.

Tomori also responded well after conceding a silly penalty against Raviola, and his presence as a centre-back on the left allowed Teo Hernandez to get more involved When it came time to attack, it led directly to Cristian Romero’s red card, which greatly dampened Tottenham’s hopes.

Kalulululu also played at a very high level, keeping the out-of-form Son Heung-Min quiet with ease. He also pushed the ball forward several times and seemed comfortable.

All in all, the trio have been excellent and they have kept five clean sheets in their last six games.

3. The offensive line is mixed

Theo Hernandez played a great game, was one of the best players on the pitch and helped a lot in the attacking phase, Romero fouled and as mentioned he got a red card Sent off. He was also involved in most of the better counter-attacks Milan produced, as he ran the entire pitch and combined with Divock Origi, who hit the post.

Oddly enough, Rafael Leao is not on the same level as he seems to be struggling to find his place on the pitch. To be fair, he did have some moments of quality and he was a problem for Spurs as they had to stop him by fouling him on a number of occasions. However, he should have gotten more out of the situation when he ran away, and he didn’t.

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On the right, Mesias was the clear underdog of the game as he offered few chances to go forward and missed great chances in front of goal. Oliver Giroud also struggled to establish himself in the game as his pick-and-roll let him down, although he did put real pressure up front.

In the end, Brahim Diaz started and he played a fantastic game. The Spaniard was probably the best player on the pitch for much of the game as he beat his men quickly and without trouble. He came off towards the end of the game, but despite that, his performance was impressive.

4. Need to control

Rade Krunic and Sandro Tonali did a good job, they covered a lot of space and helped a lot in Maignan’s clean sheet, but they could have done more on the ball.

When Ismail Bennacer came on in the second half, the difference he made was so stark, managing to keep the ball and improve his game even though he played just over 10 minutes.

When Milan want to calm the game and keep the ball, the Algerian is crucial as he possesses a variety of ways to advance the ball, with a composure and low center of gravity that Tonali and Krunic sometimes lack.

5. Tactics succeed

Stefano Pioli, who got the right players and tactics on the night, also deserves credit for his achievement reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Since changing shape, his side have kept five clean sheets in their last six games and, from a cohesion and compact standpoint, he appears to be back on track despite the loss in Fiorentina.

Reaching the quarter-finals would also be a huge confidence boost and Milan need to capitalize on that at home, picking up the points and securing Champions League qualification is the focus of their campaign next season.Return to Sohu to see more


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