Marco Giampaolo kicked off his reign at AC Milan with a disappointing performance against Udinese as the Friulians earned a much-deserved victory thanks to a Rodrigo Becao goal in the 71st minute.
It was a relatively quiet first half, although Udinese seemed to be marginally better. They remained the better side throughout the second half and finally broke the deadlock 20 minutes from time, when Rodrigo Becao headed in a Rodrigo De Paul corner to score on his debut.
Milan were poor throughout the game and largely lacked sharpness, failing to register a single shot on target.
Check out our breakdown of the game below.
Key Talking Point
There was little expectation for Udinese ahead of the new season, with the Friulani anticipated once again to finish mid-table without troubling the European places or being dragged into a relegation dogfight.
Udinese were exciting throughout the match though and they worked superbly well as unit. Seko Fofana, Mato Jajalo, Rodrigo Becao and German Pezzella particularly impressed for the Friulians as they got their campaign off to a dream start.
Though Milan were especially poor on the day, it was still a quality performance from Udinese and should give them the confidence they need to have a successful season.
Starting XI: Musso (6); Becao (8), Troost-Ekong (7), Samir (7); Larsen (6), Fofana (7), Madragora (6), Jajalo (7), Pezzella (7); Pussetto (6), Lasagna (6)
Substitutes: Nestorovski (6), De Paul (7), Sema (N/A)
STAR MAN: Rodrigo Becao. Remember the name. The Brazilian joined Udinese in the summer from Bahia after a successful loan spell in Russia with CSKA Moscow and made an instant impression in Serie A, putting in an excellent shift in defence as well as getting his team the winning goal.
As for Udinese, it was an impressive, organised performance and Tudor was rewarded for making bold changes rather than settling for a draw. Great debut for Rodrigo Becao who did well defensively as well as getting the goal. A real response to their doubters #UdineseMilan— Alasdair Mackenzie (@aksmackenzie) August 25, 2019
Rodrigo Becão pocketing Piatek whilst our centre-backs are getting the run around against Glenn Murray and Mark Noble. What’s gone on here— Lou (@louorns) August 25, 2019
Key Talking Point
AC Milan seemed to be a little unfocused on Marco Giampaolo's debut, with many players playing out of position and the Rossoneri failed to trouble Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, firing a whopping zero shots on target.
It was the worst start imaginable for Giampaolo, who will have much to reflect on after a very poor performance from his new side. There seemed to be no hint of the philosophy that Giampaolo developed at Sampdoria and none of his players seemed to be motivated. Quite worrying indeed.
Starting XI: Donnarumma (6); Calabria (5), Musacchio (5), Romagnoli (6), Rodriguez (5); Borini (4), Paqueta (4), Calhanoglu (4), Suso (5); Piatek (4), Castillejo (5).
Substitutes: Kessie (5), Leao (5), Bennacer (N/A)
STAR MAN - No one. Not a single player stood out or did anything to suggest they were worthy of this accolade.
Not a single good thing about todays performance.— 👑 (@WhatGattusoMad) August 25, 2019
Giampaolo deserve to be sacked if he start Castillejo & Borini again next match— Joe (@milanelloman) August 25, 2019
Lots for Giampaolo to work on and for the players to solve. Sloppy match and deserved defeat. But that doesn't mean the season is over. Giampaolo needs time and today's starting XI was far from the best the team can offer. Attack me for my optimistism. I don't care. Forza Milan.— Anthony Lopopolo (@sportscaddy) August 25, 2019
Fortunately for Milan, they have it relatively easy over the next couple of matches, facing newly-promoted sides Brescia and Hellas Verona. This defeat to Udinese has to be a wake-up call for the Rossoneri and anything less than six points from the next two matches will be regarded as a disappointment.
Udinese, on the other hand, have a lot of reason for optimism. They face Parma in their next game and given their performance against Milan, you would expect them to go on and win it.