AC Milan will have an extremely tough time picking themselves up after their second consecutive defeat against Chelsea, especially considering the controversial circumstances that it happened in.
The Rossoneri will feel that they were extremely hard done by in both of their matches against the Premier League side, but much more so in Tuesday’s clash at the Stadio San Siro.
The two defeats leave them with four points from four games in this season’s Champions League. Chelsea sit top of Group E with seven points, RB Salzburg have six points, and then Milan and Dinamo Zagreb both have four points. Winning the group is still possible, and finishing bottom of the group is still possible.
Tomori red card ends AC Milan’s hopes
The match on Tuesday appeared to be shaping up extremely well. Both sides knew the value of a win and also knew that a draw was little use. They appeared ready to fly at each other but that all came to an end in the 18th minute.
Some poor Rossoneri defending led to Mason Mount running into the box with the ball. Fikayo Tomori did what he could to slow him down, but Mount still got his shot away. The referee then blew for a penalty and showed Tomori a straight red card.
The shock on the former Chelsea defender’s face said it all, and even Mount seemed surprised, although unsurprisingly happy that his team had a chance to go in front.
Tomori certainly had his hands on Mount and he was finding the limit of what can be done in the box, but the contact seemed nowhere near extensive enough to warrant a penalty. Once the penalty was given though, the laws of the game dictate that Tomori must be sent off.
Jorginho dispatched the penalty, the irony of that not being lost on fans of the Italian national team, and the contest was effectively over. The game ended 2-0 when Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang finished off a good move from Chelsea before half time.
The feeling of betrayal will be very hard to shake from that game, but they must also shake the feeling of having had so many injuries at once which undoubtedly affected the game at Stamford Bridge which ended 3-0 to Chelsea.
There is less to unpack there because, whilst the injuries were relevant to the game, the performance from each player on the pitch was well below par regardless.
Pioli must rally the troops for Verona clash
Whilst the 2-0 win over Juventus was very positive for Milan from a domestic perspective, Stefano Pioli is going to have to work very hard to make sure there is no psychological hangover from Tuesday night’s Chelsea defeat.
The anger and upset were palpable in the stadium throughout the rest of the game and at full time and there is not long to get that out of the mind and adequately prepare for a trip to Verona.
This Milan side have certainly faced psychological challenges before under Pioli, but this could be the toughest yet. The calendar has been relentless ever since the season began and games like that can make it all a lot harder to bare for the players, especially with an injury crisis to throw into the mix.
Coming up against a Verona side devoid of form is beneficial, although they have just sacked Gabriele Cioffi and could be due a reaction. If Milan can get through with all three points, it will be a testament to their collective mentality and Pioli’s man-management skills.