Milan does not stop anymore: Ibra and Kessie also fold Roma

A free kick by the Swede in the first half and a penalty by the Ivorian in the second half confirm the Rossoneri’s ambitions for the championship. El Shaarawy scored the Giallorossi goal in the final. Hernandez sent off in the 22nd minute of the second half: he will miss the derby

We do not know when – and perhaps not even if – Pioli will ever pronounce the magic word, but his players think about it so much and we too join without problems: the last question marks can easily evaporate under the spotlight of the Olimpico, this is for everyone the effects a Milan championship and yet another certification arrives right in the stadium where the Devil won the last one, ten years ago.


Anyone waiting for a slip in the first act of a terrible triptych is forced to change his mind: ten victories in eleven releases can no longer be the result of favorable circumstances or a particularly favorable parenthesis. Finding the way and the strength to take the three points on the field of Roma, a direct competitor for the Champions League (because this is still the primary objective of the Devil), playing for over half a time with one man less, is a degree. after a series of honors exams. On Wednesday Porto arrive for the last call of the Champions League, on Sunday there will be the derby, but by now the opponents no longer make a difference for Milan: this is a team aware of being able to win with anyone. At the Olimpico they decided a free kick from Ibra – a capital performance – in the first half and a penalty from Kessie in the second. Roma, who continue with a distressing big sore (one point in four crossings), shortened in the final with El Shaarawy but did not have the strength and the ability to catch up the match after the expulsion of Hernandez, arrived at 22 ‘ of recovery. The ranking still says fourth place, but it will be a lot of work to seal it in May.

The choices

Mourinho confirmed as a whole the eleven who won in Cagliari. So with Mancini and Ibanez in the center of the defense, the former Cristante and Veretout in the median and the trident Zaniolo-Pellegrini-Mkhitaryan (victorious in the runoff with the other former El Shaarawy, who seemed the favorite on the eve) behind Abraham. In the warm-up, apprehension for Pellegrini, visibly bothered by the left knee: the alarm then returned. Pioli, on the other hand, a little by choice and a little by necessity (seven unavailable), compared to Turin he changed four: Kjaer for Romagnoli, Hernandez for Kalulu, Bennacer for Tonali and Ibra – the second as a starter – for Giroud. Behind the Swede, the Rossoneri coach confirmed Krunic, preferring to leave Diaz on the bench, on his return after Covid. The men change, the value of the opponents changes, but Milan as a whole does not change. A team that has achieved total awareness of its strength, which guarantees it a mature management in any context. Even in the home of a direct European competitor who, especially in the first few minutes, threw herself forward and scared the Devil more than once. Except that a fright followed reaction.

What a challenge on the wing

And so it turned out a very good first half. No tactical speculation, few calculations and a markedly aggressive offensive phase. Opportunities on both sides, Pellegrini made Tatarusanu shiver twice in the first quarter of an hour – just out on both occasions – and the first glimpses of the match offered a more convinced Roma and a more awkward Milan. . Strength relations that did not last long because after about ten minutes the Rossoneri settled down and Roma began to find the right corridors with greater difficulty. Bennacer and Kessie took turns dealing with Pellegrini, forcing him to retreat the range of action, Kjaer canceled Abraham and the Giallorossi showed that they suffered in particular the movements of Saelemaekers and Calabria on the center-left, where the Veretout-Mkhitaryan hinge struggled to follow your opponents. The challenge along the left lane of Milan was wonderful, with Zaniolo and Leao putting a strain on the nerves of Hernandez and Karsdorp. Ibrahimovic, as usual, often retreated to manage the ball on the frontline, opening up spaces for an increasingly inspired Leao. Milan grew with the passing of the hands and occasions began to rain: first Kessie, then Leao slipped from an excellent position, Ibra raised his aim in front of Rui Patricio and then hit. Leao took a free-kick from the edge and Zlatan slipped through the Giallorossi goal with a low and angled right.

The lightness of Theo

It was 26 ‘and Roma felt the pinch, losing aggression and clarity, and facilitating the management of Milan. Maresca canceled a goal against Leao for Ibra’s offside and the recovery also began with a goal canceled by the Rossoneri – this time by Zlatan -, again for offside. Mourinho redesigned Roma with the three-man defense, but Milan struck again: long pass for Ibra, a broken entry by Ibanez and a penalty, immediately assigned and then confirmed after checking the monitor. Zlatan cavalierly gave in to Kessie: 2-0 and Rome mentally in pieces. Pioli removed the Swede and inserted Giroud, Mou threw in El Shaarawy and Carles Perez, but the game changed face in the 22nd minute when Milan remained in ten: intentional foul by Hernandez on Pellegrini, second yellow and Diavolo in ten. A very heavy expulsion also from a derby point of view. Pioli has included Ballo-Touré for Saelemaekers and then Tonali, Romagnoli and Bakayoko for Leao, Bennacer and Krunic. A necessary prudence, which obviously amounted to an increasingly oppressive suffering. In the last quarter of an hour it has been a total assault. First Kjaer sealed a fantastic performance by saving on Zaniolo with Tatarusanu beaten, then the Rossoneri goalkeeper defused Mancini. At 93 ‘El Shaarawy shortened the distance and transformed the last three minutes of recovery into a breathless siege where the protagonist was again Tatarusanu, with a gliding flight that defused Carles Perez’s left foot.

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Milan does not stop anymore: Ibra and Kessie also fold Roma