Milan played out a 0-0 stalemate with Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday evening.
The Rossoneri were keen to continue their winning ways following a 2-0 win against Lazio in their midweek fixture. However, this was a match where both squads had their opportunities to take the lead, but neither managed to muster a goal in 90 minutes.
The first half saw Fiorentina control the tempo of play and fortunately for the visitors, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was able to keep his side safely out of any danger.
Gabriel Paletta and Mattia De Sciglio were solid for the Milanese, with the latter coming forward on various occasions while still keeping his opponents in check.
It was Josip Ilicic who came the closest to scoring after a penalty was awarded to the hosts for a foul by Davide Calabria on Borja Valero in the first term. The woodwork denied the Slovenian much to the content of the visitors, who allowed la Viola to maintain long periods of posession.
Despite his age, the Milan goalkeeper has proven time after time why he is such a crucial member of Vincenzo Montella’s squad.
In just his second season for the Rossoneri, the young Italian has come to the rescue for his side on several occasions due to the lack of defensive consistency.
The match against Fiorentina was his third cleansheet of the season thus far, but it did not come without some key saves.
Valero was the main threat posed and the Spaniard forced an outstretched save from Donnarumma following a curling shot struck into the top right-hand corner.
A few poor distributions from the goalkeeper put his side on the back-foot, yet it did not overshadow his performance in the net.
Though it does bring into question the abilities of his defence, who more often than not have a standout player rather than an excellent collective performance.
Defensive woes continue
The Rossoneri defence is certainly not one of the worst in the current competition, yet by the same token, it is certainly not one of the best.
As mentioned, there can be several individual players that stand above the rest, dependent on the match.
However, there needs to be a stronger joint performance to keep the errors from creeping into their play and hence stop meaningless penalties from being awarded to the opposition.
Against la Viola, Gabriel Paletta was the main man in the backline for Milan and he was often more intuitive than the mostly consistent Alessio Romagnoli.
Not only did the 30-year-old make sure he was in the right positions, he continually cleared the ball off his lines and made numerous important tackles.
In comparison, Romagnoli made several erratic passes, had a tendency to drift slightly too far up field and was slow in tracking back when the opposition came forward on the counter.
In addition, midfielder and captain Riccardo Montolivo made only a few stops in the area, but did little else.
Improvements have been made and will hopefully continue as the season progresses.