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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

AC Milan 3-3 Salernitana: Five things we learned

By Vaseline May26,2024

Milan faced Salernitana in the last game of the season and Stefano Pioli hoped to walk away with a win. Instead, they were held to a 3-3 draw due to (yet another) poor defensive performance. Still, the farewell was beautiful.

Both teams had nothing to play for, with Milan securing second spot and Salernitana being relegated a while ago. However, as it was the last match for Pioli, Olivier Giroud and Simon Kjaer, the home side were expected to take all three points and end this cycle in style.

However, after an impressive start and a two-goal lead for the Rossoneri, things took a turn for the worse Salernitana came back and made it 3-3. Ironically, the outcome seemed like the perfect ending for Pioli as that display summed up the up-and-down season Milan have had.

Below are five things we learned from the game…

1. Giroud shows his class one last time

Giroud bid farewell to the Rossoneri in style, scoring with a stunning first-time finish to double his side’s lead. It was indeed the perfect end to a very good period at the club, performing at a very high level at such an old age.

He joined the club in 2021 and would be a backup to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, with the Swede struggling with injuries, Giroud eventually became the starting striker in an attempt to break the No. 9 curse.

With 39 goals and 17 assists in 97 games, he certainly managed to bring certainty to that position. He also helped the younger players and was a role model for the team. In that sense, his departure will be very costly because he will lack a lot of experience.

After the match, Giroud expressed his love for the Rossoneri colours and there is no doubt that he fought for the badge. He will be deeply remembered by the fans for helping them get back to the top and, above all, win the Scudetto.

2. Captain responds amid rumors

Davide Calabria played a solid game defensively as he wasn’t really to blame for the goals and he did well going forward and scored a goal in the process. It has to be said that it is his first of the season, although he has come close on previous occasions.

The captain has had a very mixed season, with some injuries not helping him, and there are rumors that a new right-back could arrive in the summer. Especially compared to the left side where Theo Hernandez plays, there is room for improvement.

That said, Calabria is Milanista through and through, something that should not be underestimated.

3. Dynamic along the left flank

It was a signature performance from Hernandez and Rafael Leao in the final game of the season. They were both very dangerous when going forward, and also combined a few times. Of course, Salernitana was poor defensively, but it’s still worth pointing out.

Hernandez was unlucky not to score his goal, was disallowed for a very narrow offside after a VAR check, and had some good runs forward. His partner in crime, Leao, also had a good game with a strong start, even though he conceded the goal from the goalkeeper.

It will be interesting to see the duo under a new coach and some updated tactics as the current ones, as good as they are, are too predictable by the opposition.

4. An impressive first season from Pulisic

Pulisian was very lively on the right flank and his performance pretty much summed up the positive first season in red and black. Thanks to an assist in the second half, he took his points total for the season to 26 (15 goals and 11 assists, all composers).

The American arrived this summer for just €20 million plus bonuses after a very poor season at Chelsea. Samuel Chukwueze was signed shortly afterwards for 28 million euros (including bonuses) and many had higher expectations for the Nigerian.

However, Pulisic was determined and was a crucial part of Pioli’s side from the first round (when he scored a beautiful goal against Bologna). It will be very interesting to see him build on this, knowing that he will be a certain starter next season, which should only boost his confidence.

5. Grazie Pioli

Thus an important cycle has come to an end. Pioli arrived in Milan at a very delicate moment, with a team full of young players and not many leaders, but he never complained and worked hard to find a solution.

The very fact that he was brought in as a caretaker of sorts but ended up staying for almost five full seasons is a compliment to his work. He returned Milan to the Champions League for the first time in seven years and secured their first Scudetto in eleven years.

Moreover, he reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. The current season has been far from ideal, but it hasn’t been easy given the plethora of injuries that have hit the team. And there were also great moments, such as the victory over PSG and Newcastle in the Champions League.

He has certainly stabilized the club after years of chaos and we thank him for that. Thank you for all your work, Stefano, it will not be forgotten.

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