Parma v Milan Post-Match Comments [Sep 29 2012]

Milan – 4-3-3: Abbiati; Abate-Zapata-Yepes-De Sciglio; De Jong-Ambrosini-Nocerino; Boateng-Bojan-El Shaarawy

Parma –  3-5-2: Mirante; Zaccardo, Paletta, Lucarelli; Rosi, Parolo, Ninis, Galloppa, Gobbi; Pabon, Amauri


Parma used their 5-man midfield to great effect in the opening minutes, allowing them to push Milan back into their own half with good pressure on the ball. Much like every team I’ve seen use this strategy this year (including Milan) they tired quickly, and the pressing stopped after about 15 minutes, changing the area of play on the field.

The 4-3-3 formation that Milan trotted out was extremely defensive in nature. It shifted slightly into a 4-2-3-1 that seemed to play off the counterattack.

possessionbackparma Parma v Milan Post Match Comments

Play Zones – Milan spent more time in their own defensive third than in Parma’s offensive third.

Positionally, the module of the team was a 4-2-3-1 with high playing wingbacks.

positionaverageparma1 Parma v Milan Post Match Comments

Player Position

Tactically, this was a positive shift, as the 4-2-3-1 has now been seen in the last two games (with Ambro NDJ). I would like to see if Montolivo can be inserted for Ambrosini in an ideal XI, as this side lacks the passing and distribution – for an example, look to Ambrosini looking to make the assists. He succeeded last week, however today, looked woefully inept at creative passing, and his attempts at key passes were not effective. The idea is right, though.

It may have been the pouring rain that started an hour before kickoff, but the general movement in this match was poor. That’s not to say there aren’t bright spots of improvement, such as KPB’s attempted header on 16 minutes after a series of slick passes led to a wide open header in the 6 which he should have done better on (which has been discussed at length before – 0 goals, 0 assists 25+ shots this year).

Speaking of Boateng, his fitness still isn’t at par. He needed to be subbed just after half, however Allegri let him continue into the 70th minute, at which point he was tired, frustrated, and fouling. He needs to be managed and taken out of the situations where he can possibly fall into more trouble. It seems he will play against Zenit – so the rest he got will be useful.

As for the Milan goal – El Shaaarawy. What a player. He’s taken his shooting to the next level (much as Boateng did last season) and the difference in his finishing from the beginning of this year is astounding. He’s composed in front of goal every time, and he slots home excellently, low and away from the keeper.

Milan are most dangerous against Parma on the counterattack. I’m not sure if this is due to the formation they are playing (4-2-3-1) or if it is because of the mentality of the players / their own inabilities to string long passing sets together with a result. In any event, the effect of this counterattacking ability led to the El Shaarawy goal, as Milan had a 4 on 3 situation at the back with Bojan leading the charge. This is the ultimate success of Allegri’s midfield – as the runners shook off their marks and were free pressing into space. In an ideal world, Allegri’s tactics always work like that.

For the goal conceded – the 5th goal conceded on set-pieces this week. I will discuss more about this in an upcoming article, however, there is some responsibility on the coach for this. Nigel De Jong caused the goal directly, pushing away from the wall and leaving a space with which the ball went through. Mistake.

Final Thought:

Positive signs – but will they be in time. As Allegri noted far too many times in his post-match interview, Milan “deserved” to win; however this is little consolation, and if anything speaks to the inabilities of the squad to do what they were expected to do. It was an improvement from the first few games of the season, but at what point are we going to stop comparing to the terrible starts of yesteryear?

Diagrams courtesy of

Follow me on Twitter @PDAcquaviva 

About Pete Acquaviva

Pete writes about Milan on this blog. Occasionally other things. You would know which of them it is if you've gotten this far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation