Three takeaways from AS Roma 1-2 AC Milan: Rossoneri look to Leao magic, problems mount for Mourinho

Aided by the brilliance of Rafael Leao, AC Milan are already looking like serious Serie A title contenders, but Jose Mourinho's AS Roma are sliding towards real trouble.

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AC Milan made it three wins from as many games as they sealed a 2-1 win over AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Serie A on Matchday 3. The Rossoneri took home the points thanks to an early Olivier Giroud penalty and Rafael Leao‘s stunning goal. Despite seeing Fikayo Tomori receive a red card they were comfortable for most of the game.

Roma pulled a goal back late on through Leonardo Spinazzola, but could not salvage a point and remain without a win this season.

AC Milan: Early Serie A pacesetters

AC Milan have made a flying start to the new Serie A season and arrived in the Italian capital off the back of a 2-0 win at Bologna and a 4-1 thumping of Torino. However, the clash against Roma was being billed as the first major test of this new look Rossoneri side following their summer rebuild in the transfer market, and they certainly rose to the occasion.

Having failed to defend their Serie A title in such dismal fashion last season, Stefano Pioli‘s side are wasting no time in proving themselves to be scudetto contenders this time around and a dominant win over Roma will only breed more confidence in the squad.

Coming through the opening rounds of fixtures unscathed sets Milan up perfectly for a mouth-watering Derby della Madonnina against Inter immediately after the international break. Should the Diavolo snatch the points against their city rivals, they must surely be considered the early favourites for the title.

AC Milan players, including Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao, celebrate a goal. (Photo: AC Milan)

AS Roma and Mourinho facing a long season

Confidence was high in Rome ahead of the new season as Roma looked to build on their run to the Europa League final with a top four spot and a return to the Champions League. Coupled with some smart acquisitions in the transfer market, Roma fans were optimistic but a disastrous start has put paid to that.

A single point from a possible nine leaves the Giallorossi well off the pace already and most worryingly, performances have done little to suggest the poor start is a fluke. A 2-2 draw against Salernitana was followed up by a 2-1 defeat to Hellas Verona and the loss against Milan, whilst the club’s injury curse has reared it’s ugly head again.

Jose Mourinho reacts on the sideline. (Photo: Getty.)

Coach Jose Mourinho has only just returned from a suspension but all does not seem to be well in the Portuguese’s camp, despite the arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea. The former Real Madrid tactician has never remained at a club for more than three years, and as he enters the final season of his contract, are these the early warning signs of turbulence ahead?

Leao remains Milan’s best bit of business

Rafael Leao celebrates for AC Milan. (Photo: AC Milan)

A busy summer at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza saw Milan cash in on midfielder Sandro Tonali and loan out Charles De Ketelaere, whilst bringing in nine new players, but their key piece of business was holding onto Rafael Leao.

The Portugal international penned a new contract over the summer to commit his future to the Rossoneri, amidst interest from the Premier League, and has made an instant impact with a truly magnificent goal against Roma.

Despite impressive starts to the campaign from new arrivals Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and the goalscoring exploits of Giroud, Leao remains Milan‘s most exciting and dynamic star. The former Lille man has the ability to carry the Diavolo further than their collective, and retaining him gives them a serious shot at the title.

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