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Milan Masterclass, Slicing Through Cagliari’s Defense

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AC Milan versus Cagliari

Following Cagliari’s 5-1 defeat to Milan, coach Claudio Ranieri pinpointed defensive lapses and midfield struggles as key factors. Looking ahead, Ranieri emphasized the importance of the upcoming relegation showdown with Sassuolo for Cagliari’s survival hopes. By urging his team to learn from their mistakes and approach the match with determination.

The Sardinians understood the challenge of earning points against tough opponents like Milan. However, they had shown resilience in recent encounters against big clubs. They managed to secure victories against Atalanta and held both Inter and Juventus to 2-2 draws in previous weeks.

Despite knowing the difficulty of the task, Cagliari had demonstrated their ability to compete against formidable opponents. Which showcasing their determination and potential to perform well against strong teams.

Cagliari found themselves trailing by only one goal, with Ismael Bennacer scoring the opener for Milan. They managed to narrow the gap to 2-1 when Nahitan Nandez replied to Christian Pulisic’s goal.

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Cagliari showed promise by hitting the woodwork twice and putting pressure on Milan’s goalkeeper, Marco Sportiello. Who made some tough saves. However, Milan capitalized on their opportunities and benefitted from some luck, ultimately running riot and securing a commanding 5-1 victory.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the match, Claudio Ranieri expressed his perspective on the outcome. He acknowledged that the final scoreline of 5-1 might seem harsh, but credited Milan’s talent for their prolific scoring.

Ranieri admitted that his team had been somewhat hesitant in the first half. They should have been more proactive in attempting to unsettle Milan’s defense and create scoring opportunities.

Ranieri recognized Milan’s quality and highlighted areas where Cagliari could have been more assertive to potentially alter the course of the match.

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In the second half, we stepped up our efforts, generated opportunities, struck the woodwork, and put pressure on Milan’s defense. Which forcing their goalkeeper into action.

However, during our offensive pushes, we left spaces open, which allowed players like Leao and Theo Hernandez to exploit them. We were aware of their threat in those situations, but unfortunately, we couldn’t contain them effectively.

We understood that this match was a bit of a wild card for us, and whatever the outcome, we were prepared to accept it. There were moments when we performed admirably, although we lacked the confidence to take the offensive against Milan.

Unfortunately, by the time we mustered the courage to attack, they had already exploited the spaces that opened up, and they capitalized on them fully. Their ability to penetrate our defense was akin to slicing through butter, leaving us vulnerable.

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“It’s disappointing because we had opportunities that we could have utilized better. One instance was a counter attack where Zito Luvumbo chose to pass backward instead of setting up Shomurodov for a clear chance at goal. Luvumbo is young and talented, still developing his decision-making skills.

In reflection, I believe we scored a decent number of goals this season. However, we also conceded more goals than I would have preferred. It’s an area we need to address moving forward.

Ranieri on Cagliari’s Vital Match:

Lecce can breathe easy now, knowing they’re safe from relegation mathematically. However, Cagliari isn’t out of the woods yet. They have a challenging run-in ahead, with matches against tough opponents like Sassuolo and Fiorentina.

Now, we’re gearing up for a massive game against Sassuolo, and I believe much will hinge on the outcome of that match. With only two games remaining, we’ll focus on thorough preparation and give it our all on the field.

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Both teams celebrated Mother’s Day by wearing their maternal surnames on their jerseys for the evening’s match. Given this touching gesture, Claudio Ranieri was asked if his dear mother, Renata, would offer any advice on navigating the tense conclusion to the season.

She had simply tell me to stick to what I know best, nothing more,” Ranieri shared warmly. “In fact, she used to scold me for not playing Duff at Chelsea.

Ranieri, who once coached Stefano Pioli, shared a warm embrace with him on the touchline.

It’s always a pleasure to see him. I’m saddened by the challenges he’s facing at the moment, but as coaches, we understand that it’s all part of the game. When you win, you’re hailed as the best, but when things don’t go as planned, all the blame falls on us. It’s a reality we accept and continue to persevere through.

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Ranieri also spoke with DAZN and was questioned about Jamie Vardy, his former striker from Leicester City, who was in attendance for Como’s promotion to Serie A the previous night.

When asked if Vardy should consider playing in Italy, Ranieri responded. He’s already getting up there in age and is familiar with English defenses, so it’s probably best for him to stay there.

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