Three takeaways from Cagliari 1-3 AC Milan: Okafor off the mark, Chukwueze provides a threat from the right

AC Milan managed to beat Cagliari in Serie A on Matchday 6 whilst rotating the squad, which allowed Noah Okafor to get off the mark and Samuel Chukwueze to catch the eye.

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AC Milan delivered upon pre-match expectations that they would beat Cagliari in Serie A Matchday 6 by winning 3-1 on Wednesday night at the Sardegna Arena. They did have to come from behind, though.

The Rossoneri fell behind through a Zito Luvumbo strike aimed towards the near post, which has raised questions about Marco Sportiello. However, the visitors scored twice in five minutes to take the lead before half-time through Noah Okafor and Fikayo Tomori

Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s long-range effort put the game past Cagliari and they couldn’t get back into the game, with their fate all but secured 30 minutes from time. 

Stefano Pioli’s side remain second behind Inter. However, they have retained a two-point advantage over JuventusCagliari are rooted to the bottom of the Serie A table, with worries continuing about where and when the side’s first victory will come. 

Noah Okafor’s first competitive goal for AC Milan 

AC Milan’s Noah Okafor wheels away in celebration against Cagliari. [Photo: acmilan.com]

After arriving from RB Salzburg in the 2023 summer transfer window, Noah Okafor hasn’t had the start to life in Milan he would’ve hoped. Nonetheless, his goal might be just what he needs to kick-start his Rossoneri career. 

The Swiss had waited since November 2022 for a league goal before scoring on Wednesday. For a 23-year-old, that is bound to at least slightly knock his confidence.

It could’ve been a brace on the night, as he was waiting behind Fikayo Tomori for Milan’s second goal and had the Englishman missed the ball, Okafor would likely have provided the finish.

With little pressure on him due to Olivier Giroud being ever present, the youngster can settle into his new club, learn from the Frenchman, and gradually grow in importance as time goes on, which benefits all parties. 

Samuel Chukwueze is just what AC Milan needed 

AC Milan’s Samuel Chukwueze. [Photo: acmilan.com]

It’s no secret that the Diavolo have desperately needed a new right-winger for some time. Samuel Chukwueze offers the answer for now and the future. 

AC Milan’s pursuit of the Nigerian lasted a large part of the summer, regardless, he seems the perfect fit for Milan’s attacking dynamic. In the past, the side has seemed somewhat lopsided going forward, focusing meaningful attacks through Rafael Leao on the left. Now, they have another star to lead attacks on opposition defences. 

Wednesday gave a glimpse into the winger’s best and, whilst he didn’t contribute an assist or a goal, the Rossoblu looked threatened and vulnerable whenever Chukwueze ran at them. 

If Milan are to move forward with a front three of Leao, Okafor, and Chukwueze, they are in safe hands for a long time, given the youth and talent of the trio.

AC Milan players celebrate Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s goal. [Photo: acmilan.com]

Maignan is vital for AC Milan and they are worse without him

The statement seems obvious, but nonetheless, going from one of the best in the world to Marco Sportiello is too much of a drop-off. Yes, the veteran is an option, but if Milan are to be truly confident when Maignan is absent, investment in a better backup is a necessity. 

Whilst Luvumbo’s effort was venomous, it should’ve been a routine save for a keeper with as much experience as Sportiello. Although he made other saves during the game, he has to be a temporary option before Milan invest in a new goalkeeper who is younger and has potential. 

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