A.C Milan opened the 2015-16 Serie A Season today with a 2-0 loss away to Fiorentina in a match which left Milan fans wondering what has changed from last season, after a summer transfer window which saw the club spend over 90M Euros on new players.
The match started with both teams relatively even, though Fiorentina where the ones creating the more dangerous opportunities and forced Diego Lopez to make several saves including a brilliant save from several yards out after he was caught out of position.
Before kickoff, many fans were concerned that Mihajlovic’s insistence on starting both Romagnoli and Rodrigo Ely (both of whom are under 22 years of age) would be an issue as they are both extremely young and their inexperience could cost Milan. Those concerns proved to be legitimate as Rodrigo Ely was sent off at the 37th minute after two yellow card worthy fouls earned him a red, which in turn force Mihajlovic to take off Keisuke Honda for Zapata. Immediately after Ely was sent off, Fiorentina’s Marcos Alonso fired in a very well taken freekick making it 1-0 for the hosts at the 38th minute of the match.
Mihajlovic’s decision to take off Honda for Zapata after the goal hurt the Milan midfield’s ability to create chances for strikers Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano as there was no longer a playmaker to link up the midfield with the attack. This meant that Bertolacci and Bonaventura needed to make more runs forward to support the strikers in Honda’s absence, which created problems for the Milan defence who had only De Jong as cover from Fiorentina’s attacks.
Milan managed to hold off Fiorentina’s dangerous attacks after that with Diego Lopez having to make two one on one saves, but at the 55th minute, the inexperience of Milan’s defence hurt them again as Alessio Romagnoli made a slide tack in the box on Josip Iličić, and the referee was forced to award Fiorentina a penalty which was subsecuently scored by Iličić.
The match continued with Milan struggling to contain Fiorentina, who were in fabulous form on the night and were deserved winners.
Milan fans will hope that things improve and the mistakes made in the opening game are learned from so that Milan does not have a repeat of the past 2 seasons which saw the club finish in mid-table.
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