AC Milan – AS Roma: well-organized Milan get deserved late winner

AS Roma had a lot of problems in their away game against a well-organized AC Milan. Both managers decided to change their formation at one point in the game. This made AC Milan – AS Roma an interesting match-up, which was decided in the last minute. 

AS Roma had started the season by gathering a last-minute win against Torino and a draw in a highly entertaining match against Atalanta Bergamo. AC Milan’s season opener against Genoa was cancelled due to the tragic collapse of the Ponte Morandi. They lost 3-2 to Napoli the following week, so with zero points in the bag, there was some pressure from the fans in San Siro to deliver a good performance.

Milan lined up in their usual 4-3-3 formation with Lucas Biglia as the defensive anchor in central midfield, while Franck Kessié and Giacomo Bonaventura played higher up the field. Roma’s formation came as a surprise, as the 4-3-3 that manager Eusebio Di Francesco used in the first two league games was binned. Instead Roma lined up in a 3-4-1-2. In this formation, marauding wing-backs Rick Karsdorp and Aleksandar Kolarov would be tasked with creating danger from the flanks. Top signing Javier Pastore acted as a traditional creative offensive midfielder and was charged with feeding the striking duo Edin Džeko and Patrik Schick from central positions.

The diagram below shows the position of all 22 players when Roma were playing out from the back in the first half. The ball is displayed at the feet of left central defender Iván Marcano.

Base situation of Roma . . .

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Erik Elias (25) is co-founder and Head Editor of Between the Posts. Dutch, so admires Johan Cruijff and his football principles, but enjoys writing about other styles too. After six years of coaching youth football in the Netherlands, it's now time to focus on journalism. Communication student, graduating this year. Anchor of ‘De Voetbalpodcast', weekly Dutch football podcast. [ View all posts ]

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