Lazio 4, Milan 0: Adding Injuries to Insult

Milan are going through some things right now. That has been obvious in the past four matches. Spoiler alert: They did not pull out of it in this one, Lazio won 4-0. As if that was not painful enough, though, both Tomori and Calabria came off of the pitch with injuries during the match. And Bennacer earned his fifth yellow card, so will be suspended on Sunday, too. Meaning as of this point we will miss eight players against Sassuolo, five of them starters. Talk about adding injuries to insult.

For those who were still able to, just walking off the pitch afterward was painful

The first goal came in just the fourth minute from Milinković-Savić. 1-0 Lazio. Milan's first chance came in the 19th minute, a torpedo from Tonali that was unfortunately straight into Provedel's arms. Three minutes later, Tomori went down injured with what seems to be a thigh problem, and Kjaer was brought on to replace him. 

Things went from bad to worse with Bennacer's yellow in the 26th, which earned him a day off this Sunday. But at least he made the yellow worthwhile by pulling an American football move and strong-arming Zaccagni. Of course, it came back to haunt us when it was Zaccagni who tapped it in after Marušić's shot hit the post. 2-0 Lazio.

Hoping Tomori's injury is not serious.

Milan came back from the break with a convincing win against Salernitana. Then they played Roma, where they dominated the match for 86 minutes, but dropped points because of what happened in the final minutes of that match. 

What happened in those final minutes and everything that has happened since has been a gradual but very visible deflation of mentality. However, at least against Torino, and then again against Lecce there was a reaction after halftime. There was also a reaction after the half against Inter, albeit a lesser reaction. Tonight, there was not really even a flicker. The rapid decline in confidence is difficult to watch.

Bennacer will be another tremendous loss for Sunday due to suspension.

Bennacer had a lovely free kick in the 50th that went just wide. Kjaer earned a yellow for a foul on Felipe Anderson. Kjaer's leadership has been sorely missed, but he lacked the speed and seemed to be playing catchup for most of the match after being subbed on unexpectedly. Pioli attempted to impact the match with subs in the 58th minute, but bringing on the three Belgians in Saelemaekers, Origi, and De Ketelaere for Messias, Giroud, and Brahim Díaz did not seem to make enough of a difference.

In the 62nd, Leão was perfectly teed up by De Ketelaere and had an attempt where he went flying in, and nearly took out Hysaj in the process, but his shot went over. Three minutes later, as Tatarusanu fearfully retreated at yet another attack, Kalulu clipped the incoming Pedro in the box and Lazio was rightfully awarded a penalty. Luis Alberto stepped up and converted the the penalty against the Tatarusanu we knew before. 3-0 Lazio. 'Fearfully retreated' could be the description of the entire team's current playing style.

This is what 'fearfully retreating' gets you.

Felipe Anderson scored the final goal in the 75th. 4-0 Lazio. Rebić came on for Leão shortly thereafter, but what was he supposed to do? And as if losing to Lazio like this wasn't brutal enough, Calabria was injured in stoppage time. In stoppage time. Early reports say it is just a contusion, but that hardly seems like Milan's luck. 

Looking at the stats, this match should have been much closer. Exactly even in possession, ten shots each, Lazio with five on target, Milan with three. But the mentality and performances were worlds apart. Also, Romagnoli, I saw you. I know you are playing for the team of your heart now, but you lifted the Scudetto with this team last May. I defended you against the haters. Always. Clearly, it was I who got it wrong.

Romagnoli is now part of what is the 2nd best defense in Serie A, while Milan...

Pioli gave an interview ahead of the match in which he was asked all of the hard questions about whether or not he knew what the problems were and if he had fixed them. For each question, he replied "Certo," which literally translates to "certainly," but we might just say "yes." Obviously, he had to say what he said, he would not be a good coach if he said anything else. But this match showed that everything at Milan is more uncertain than ever.

That includes Maldini's trust in Pioli, which he was questioned about postmatch. His answer was just a little bit... uncertain. He went on to clarify that things are not as bad as they seem. Which is true, right now. We talked about this on the last podcast. But things are clearly getting worse, not better. And something needs to change. Adding injuries to insult is definitely not the answer.

This post inspired by the music of NIN's "Hurt"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 20
Milan vs. Sassuolo
Sunday, January 29, 2023 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)

Lazio 4, Milan 0: Adding Injuries to Insult Lazio 4, Milan 0: Adding Injuries to Insult Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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