Three takeaways from AC Milan 3-1 AS Roma: Rossoneri goals made in France, Mourinho is not special anymore

AC Milan dominated in their victory against AS Roma and had their French contingent to thank for their goals. Meanwhile, Giallorossi tactician Jose Mourinho is showing further decline.

Yacine Adli for AC Milan. (Photo: AC Milan)

AC Milan were well in control on Sunday evening as they went on to defeat AS Roma 3-1 on Serie A Matchday 20.

Frenchmen Yacine Adli, Olivier Giroud, and Theo Hernandez found the back of the net for Rossoneri whilst a Leandro Paredes penalty proved to be no more than a consolation. While Giroud and Theo have demonstrated that they are proven stars, Adli is a player who is starting to settle in after he struggled to break through in his first season with the Rossoneri.

Meanwhile, AS Roma are falling into greater obscurity, and their coach Jose Mourinho is tainting his legacy with this current slide down the Serie A table. Although it was assistant Salvatore Foti on the sidelines, this defeat had the hallmarks of a tactician that is failing to evolve with the game.

AC Milan can thank their French contingent for their goals against AS Roma

It was a superb performance from AC Milan and Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli can thank Adli, Giroud, and Theo for scoring their goals against AS Roma. Giroud and Theo feature in the France Men’s National Team whereas Adli was a France youth international.

All three players made the Italian giants tick against the Giallorossi, and they all deserved to be on the scoresheet. Adli swerved to his left and found the back of the net with a low shot, Giroud scored with a header from close range after Simon Kjaer headed the ball towards him, and Theo played a spectacular one-two with Giroud before firing the ball into the net.

It is clear that AC Milan have great faith in French talent and players from Ligue 1. Despite conceding a goal, Mike Maignan was still reliable when called upon in goal, and Pierre Kalulu has been reliable contributor in defence whenever he is available. When the Rossoneri get this sort of contribution from these players, it is no surprise that they will look to the French market for talent.

Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud celebrate for AC Milan. (Photo: AC Milan)

Adli controls midfield in the absence of Bennacer

Acquired from Bordeaux in the summer of 2021, Adli was touted as a potential star of the future for AC Milan. The Rossoneri decided to let him stay on loan with the French club for the 2021/22 season before being brought to the Lombard capital.

The 2022/23 Serie A season was one to forget for the midfielder, making just six appearances for the campaign. He has remained at the club for this season, and he is starting to come good thanks to playing regularly in midfield. With Ismael Bennacer off to represent the Algeria at the African Cup of Nations, Adli produced a superb performance as a deep-lying playmaker against AS Roma and he opened the scoring with a neat strike.

After spending most of last season warming the bench, the 23-year-old is starting to thrive in midfield, and the Rossoneri are better off for it.

AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho. [@OfficialASRoma]

Mourinho is clearly The Special One by name, not by nature

Jose Mourinho is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of football, winning trophies in different countries in a career that has spanned over two decades. However, The Special One is looking like a shadow of his former self with this current run of form at AS Roma.

The 60-year-old was sent off against Atalanta in the previous round of Serie A action, so Salvatore Foti had to bark instructions from the touchline. Despite that, the Giallorossi’s performance against AC Milan was a typical Lupi display of the Mourinho era: cautious, dour, unimaginative, and full of fear. Although Paredes’ penalty gave the Romans some hope, the Rossoneri were clearly a class above on the night.

AS Roma now sit ninth in the Serie A table, and out of the European spots. There is still half of a season remaining, so the Giallorossi can mathematically turn it around, but they lack a Plan B without Paulo Dybala in attack. The more the Romans struggle in the battle for European football, the more it exposes Mourinho’s flaws as a coach these days.

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