AC Milan lacked the cutting edge in attack as they blew the Serie A title race wide open with a goalless draw at home to Bologna on Monday.
AC Milan retained top spot in Serie A with a 0-0 draw against Bologna at home. Stefano Pioli’s men have only themselves to blame as they failed to make good on several opportunities to find the back of the net.
The Rossoneri had 33 shots in the game but could only get seven of them on target. While they did admittedly fight until the end, the lack of cutting edge was evident.
Bologna, to their credit, put up a real fight and even had chances of their own to snatch all three points. In the end, Milan failed to capitalise and put some distance between themselves and Napoli and Inter Milan.
The defending champions defeated Juventus on Sunday and have a game in hand over their arch-rivals. A win will see them move to within a point of the top.
33 – AC Milan have fired 33 shots tonight against Bologna, their most without finding the net in a single Serie A game since Opta started to collect this kind of data (since 2004/05). Fog.#MilanBologna pic.twitter.com/UXrUfOaKn8
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) April 4, 2022
With seven games to go, the title charge promises to be an interesting one. While Milan still have their destiny in their own hands, Pioli and his charges also continue to show that they can be their own worst enemies. The Hard Tackle looks at how the AC Milan players fared on the night.
Mike Maignan: 6/10
The Frenchman did not have much to do as Milan tried to lay siege on the Bologna goal. However, he was called into action four times and was up to the challenge. Maignan did particularly well to save an excellent goalbound effort from Musa Barrow to keep the scoreline level.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) April 4, 2022
Davide Calabria: 6/10
Calabria was decent at both ends of the pitch and impressed for Milan on the night. Rafael Leao set him up in the 62nd minute, but the angle was against Calabria, and he failed to find the back of the net. He was eventually taken off for Alessandro Florenzi in the 75th minute.
Pierre Kalulu: 6/10
The Frenchman was solid at the back and formed an excellent partnership with Fikayo Tomori at the heart of the AC Milan backline. He was not afraid to bring the ball out from the back when needed but it mostly came to nought.
Fikayo Tomori: 7/10
The Englishman continues to impress and is developing into a top-class centre-back. He pushed up alongside Kalulu and was not averse to taking calculated risks when needed. He largely ensured that the Bologna attackers were kept quiet for most of the night.
Theo Hernandez: 6/10
Hernandez was solid in defence and made forward forays when possible. While he did lack the x-factor in making a difference, he cannot be faulted for doing his job well.
Ismael Bennacer: 5/10
Bennacer started off well and looked set to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. He tired as the game went on and lost the initiative. While he cannot be faulted for a lack of effort, Bennacer’s inability to keep his performance level up was telling.
Sandro Tonali: 5/10
The Italian international struggled to get going and make a difference in the forward areas. Milan enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but struggled to create much from it. Tonali failed to rise to the challenge and make decisive passes or moves that would have made life easier for the strikers.
🇮🇹 Sandro Tonali (21) vs. Bologna:
☑️ 90 min
🔑 5 key passes
🎯 40/43 passes comp
⚔️ 8/10 duels won
💪 8 ball recoveries
❌ 2 interceptions
↩️ 7 crosses
✈️ 2/2 aerial duels won
AC Milan couldn’t find a goal but Tonali was solid.
He should have started vs. North Macedonia. 😤 pic.twitter.com/u9pzIFZuEx
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) April 4, 2022
Junior Messias: 4/10
It was an extremely poor performance from the winger, who failed to make any difference on the night. He got into some promising positions and even showed good touches. But Messias failed to make the most of it and more often than not gave away possession.
Brahim Diaz: 5/10
The Spaniard got the nod over Franck Kessie in the number 10 role but failed to make a case for himself. Diaz showed some good movement and nifty touches but none of it led to an end product. He will need to do much better to hold onto his spot in the first XI.
Rafael Leao: 5/10
Leao was arguably Milan’s best attacking outlet and fashioned several opportunities for himself and his teammates. The killer instinct was sorely lacking and he failed to make the difference on the night. The Portuguese international’s final touch often let him down and he failed to hit the target on several occasions.
Olivier Giroud: 5/10
It can be argued that the veteran was largely starved of proper service. However, he had a header saved and struggled to rise to the occasion. Giroud has scored several key goals for Milan this season but was found lacking this time around. Deservedly taken off for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the second half.
Ante Rebic: 5/10
There was certainly no lack of effort from Rebic, who unfortunately failed to make the difference. He got a late effort to win the game but saw the Bologna goalkeeper deny him with a stunning save in stoppage time.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 6/10
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a warrior 🩸 pic.twitter.com/f4B1Ge5rOT
— GOAL Africa (@GOALAfrica) April 4, 2022
He took a knock on the head but was among Milan’s better attackers on the night. Ibrahimovic had a late chance in stoppage time but could only direct his header over the bar.
Franck Kessie: 5/10
The Ivory Coast international lacked the cutting edge on the night and failed to make the difference off the bench. He can do much better and will have a key role to play in the upcoming weeks.
Alessandro Florenzi: 5/10
The Italian looked lively and produced several crosses on the night. Unfortunately, his decision making in the final third often let him down.