Tag Archives: Gennaro Gattuso

Arsenal ends losing streak with victory over Milan in Europa League

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Arsenal put an end to their unwanted 4-game losing streak with a polished 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the first-leg of their last-16 encounter.

Arsene Wenger’s squad were leading after just 15 minutes through Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first goal for the club, with the Armenian cutting in from the left to fire in with the aid of a deflection off Milan skipper Leonardo Bonucci.

Aaron Ramsey then deservedly doubled their lead before half-time as the Welshman collected Mesut Ozil’s inch-perfect pass through the centre of Milan’s defence to round keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and tap in.

While Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan tried to raise their tempo after the break — with Giacomo Bonaventura spooning an effort over the bar — Arsenal were largely unbothered as they limited the home side to half chances with a solid defensive effort.

With clear a two-away goal advantage, Arsenal will be heavy favourites ahead of the second leg that will be played at the Emirates next week.

This also comes as a brief respite for Wenger, who saw 88% of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust’s (AST) 1,000 members voting this week in favour of the 68-year-old Frenchman’s contract being terminated at the end of the season.

“Overall it is important to win, but it is not qualification. We have to finish the job at home. I am happy with the spirit and response we gave,” he said. “We were not in a position to take risks, but we could not be too cautious as you lose fluidity. We defended with resilience until the end.”

“We made too many mistakes,” said Gattuso. “We never played as a compact team and they deserved the win. Every time they attacked, they could have scored. Playing at this level is something new for our lads but there were too many mistakes.”

“In football, you never say never. We’ll go to London to try and win, we’re not going on an excursion.”

AC Milan to make no January signings after summer buying spree

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AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli says the club will not make any January signings despite the club languishing being in the bottom half of the Serie A table.

Mirabelli has led the club in bringing in a host of players, including Portugal striker Andre Silva and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, in the off-season thanks to heavy capital influx from Chinese investors.

However, the Rossoneri have struggled for results and only won one of their last four Serie A matches — a narrow home success against Crotone last time out — despite heavy investment in the squad.

“This weekend I will be in Germany to watch a few games but we won’t sign anybody in January,” Mirabelli said. “We won’t do anything, I’ll tell you that as official information. There could be some outgoings, but these will be small things.”

Few of Milan’s arrivals have made a significant impact, with Andre Silva yet to score in Serie A and having already been linked with a switch to Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Results have not improved despite the sacking of Vincenzo Montella from the team coach position, with replacement Gennaro Gattuso leading Milan to only two league wins from his six games in charge, although the Rossoneri beat rivals Inter to reach the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

“We needed to give a strong signal to the youngsters in terms of Milan DNA,” Mirabelli said. “Rino was chosen, full stop.”

“He’s not a makeshift solution, I take responsibility and I’m happy with the way he’s working. It took hard work to improve, there were already aggravating circumstances in December. I’ve found someone who works even more than me.”

Milan thrashed by Verona amidst UEFA concern over club books

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UEFA has expressed concern over AC Milan’s financial situation even as the club’s miserable season hit a new low after slumping to a 3-0 loss at struggling Verona in Serie A on Sunday

Verona rose to 17th in the table and above the relegation zone after earning only their third league win of the season, thanks to goals from Antonio Caracciolo, Moise Kean and Daniel Bessa scored.

Caracciolo, who was left unguarded by the Milan defence headed in from Romulo’s corner in the 24th minute, with the ball hitting the bar and going in off goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Kea then scored the second after Bessa pulled the ball back 10 minutes after halftime.

After the break, Bessa tripled Verona’s unchallenged lead in the 77th minute by finishing from Romulo’s pass after the Brazilian burst down the right unchallenged. Milan forward Suso was then sent off for kicking Daniele Verde, who was on the ground, in a decision made with the help of the video assistant referee.

The result meant that Milan have managed one win, one draw and one defeat in their three league games since Gennaro Gattuso was appointed as coach, who said his side had started well but failed to react after falling behind in the 24th minute.

“Until the first goal, we played some good football and created plenty of chances,” Gattuso said. “Then, at the first sign of trouble, we collapsed as we have so often this season. We need to understand why we collapsed like that…..we don’t know how to react when we go behind. There are no excuses, we made fools of ourselves.”

Milan, who are seven-time European champions have came under Chinese ownership since April, and spent more than €200m (£176.5m) in the last transfer window in an attempt to re-establish themselves as a force in Serie A. The effort turned out mixed results, as they are currently seventh in the table with seven wins and seven defeats.

Topping off their miserable run, UEFA has rejected Milan’s request for a voluntary agreement that would have temporarily exempted the club from European football’s financial fair play rules last week.

The European football governing body said regarding Milan’s finances that there were “still uncertainties in relation to the financing of the loans to be paid back in October 2018 and the financial guarantees provided by the main shareholder”.

 

Gattuso continues wait for first win after Milan lose away to Rijeka

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AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso says the club’s “shirt deserves respect” after a “burning defeat” by Rijeka as his team concluded their Europa League group stage fixtures with a loss.

Gattuso, 39, has previously managed Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete, Pisa and Milan’s youth team, but was especially unhappy with £33m summer signing Andre Silva, who has yet to score in Serie A.

“He struggled. He looked like a foreign object in the team,” said the former Italian national. “When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan’s shirt you have to do more.”

Already assured of top spot in Group D, Gattuso made changes, for only his second game in charge, with their Europa League last-32 slot already guaranteed — but he was not impressed.

AC Milan failed to put a single shot on target, with midfielder Manuel Locatelli set to miss the first leg of the round of 32 after picking up a booking.

“I was expecting more, this was a pretty poor show,” he said. “We need to turn things around and a change in mentality. We need more intensity and desire and all these things weren’t there.”

“We needed a win as a morale booster. Sunday’s (Serie A) match against Bologna is now even more important and we can’t make any mistakes.”

Croatian side Rijeka, who were already eliminated, won 2-0 thanks to goals from Jakov Puljic and Mario Gavranovic.

Puljic gave the hosts the lead in the seventh minute by curling in a free kick out of the reach of goalkeeper Marco Storari, while Gavranovic bundled the ball over the line from six yards early in the second half.

“I take full responsibility for the choices I made,” said Gattuso. “I would make them again as we have to play important games every three days. We tried to give some playing time to those who needed it.

“This is how things have been going lately, unfortunately, we concede at the first opportunity. The boys gave it all, trying to play differently, but it wasn’t enough.”