internationals31 August 2021

INTO THE BREAK ON THE FRONT FOOT

Two Serie A matches, two wins: now it's time for international footbal

1-0 at Marassi against Sampdori, 4-1 at San Siro against Cagliari in fron of the home crowd. After an intense pre-season, the Rossoneri have hit their stride at the start of the competitive season. Pioli's side has taken six points from their first two matches, for the second consecutive season; in 2020/21, the Rossoneri beat Bologna on opening day at San Siro before cruising past Crotone at the Stadio Enzo Scida on matchday 2. A similar thing happened in 2002/03 and 2003/04 when Carlo Ancelotti was at the helm.

We have seen two great team performances and plenty of dazzling individual displays. Stefano Pioli said as much in an interview with DAZN after the Cagliari game, underlining the growth of players like Sandro Tonali - who bagged his first AC Milan goal in the game at San Siro, Rafael Leão and Rade Krunić. The Cagliari match saw the interruption of a six-match unbeaten run, in which the Rossoneri didn't concede a single goal, though the AC Milan defence did look as solid and compact as ever.

The two performances against Samp and Cagliari were vastly different; the first saw the team ready to dig deep, to defend resolutely. The second, with the push given by the fans at San Siro, saw a flamboyant AC Milan side strut their stuff on home turf.

These two weeks without domestic football will afford certain players, like Zlatan Ibrahimović, the chance to further their recovery from injury, while others will be departing on international duty. Pioli was looking for a response from these first two matches and he certainly got them. AC Milan are looking good and are ready to tackle the season.


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