Three wins, a draw and a defeat: these were the Rossoneri’s January results at the start of 2022. The month began with three consecutive victories against Roma, Venezia and Genoa (Coppa Italia), before a home defeat to Spezia and a draw against Juventus followed. Five matches where the Rossoneri had to deal with various absences, whether that was because of Covid-19, the Africa Cup of Nations or physical problems.
Despite this, Coach Pioli’s men picked up seven points from a possible twelve, allowing them to remain in second place – a spot they now share with Napoli – with a healthy advantage over fifth. AC Milan have shown plenty character in their last few matches, with the unlucky loss to Spezia being the only source of true disappointment. The Diavolo sit four points behind table-toppers Inter, who have a game in hand, as they start to look ahead to their next fixture, which will see them face their cross-city rivals in the Derby.
Absences in defence have resulted in more opportunities and playing time for Matteo Gabbia and Pierre Kalulu, the latter of whom hasn’t missed a single minute this month. They’ve responded excellently at such a delicate time. The trip to Venice was a particularly great one for Primavera defender Luca Stanga, who was given his Serie A debut by Coach Pioli. Having been out for a few months, Ante Rebić has been able to get some minutes under his belt, while Davide Calabria, who started against Juventus, is also back. Rafael Leão, meanwhile, made a goalscoring return against Roma, provided two assists against Venezia and also found the net against Genoa in the cup and Spezia.
AC Milan are still fighting it out on two fronts, then, and will be aiming to progress to the Coppa Italia semi-finals when they take on Lazio after their league fixture against Inter. In the next two weeks, the Rossoneri will be hoping that Fik Tomori completes his recovery following his knee surgery, with Franck Kessie and Fodé Ballo-Touré also set to return after their Africa Cup of Nations exploits. In general, it’ll be vital to recuperate as much as possible in order to head into February with the drive and energy to meet two decisive matches head on.
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