AC Milan have had a decent overall start to their 2021-22 season. Domestically, they have had a dream start in Serie A, and after 14 games are now second with 32 points, three points behind leaders Napoli. They fell behind Napoli after a 1-3 defeat at home to Sassuolo. In the UEFA Champions League, they were a part of Group B, which was termed as the group of death by many fans due to the presence of three other big clubs in the form of Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, and FC Porto. Liverpool have qualified from the group, winning all five of their group games, leaving the other three teams competing for the second spot. Currently, Porto are in second with five points from five, Milan are third, and Atletico Madrid are fourth, with both teams on four points each. AC Milan will have to win their game at home against Liverpool to qualify, but will also have to hope that Porto drop points. In this post, we will look at some of AC Milan’s stats in the Champions League this season.
Milan have not been the most successful side in terms of defense, especially in the Champions League, where they have conceded seven goals in five games. Only less than half of the teams have conceded more goals. In Serie A as well, they have conceded 18 goals in 14 games, and despite being second in the table, they have five teams who have conceded fewer goals than them.
Milan have also highly relied on counterattacks in most of their European games for goals and have managed to score only five goals in five group stage games in the UCL. Domestically in the league, they have been strong going forward, scoring 30 goals in the 14 games played so far. Only third-placed Inter have scored more goals with 34. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored five in the league, with Giroud and Rafael Leao scoring four each.
The above viz shows the PPDA (passes per defensive action) values for various teams in the UCL. This refers to the average number of passes an opponent team can accumulate before the team makes a defensive action like a tackle or interception. A lower PPDA value means better defense. Defending champions Chelsea have the lowest PPDA value along with Liverpool, and AC Milan have the tenth-best PPDA value.
The Italian giants lost to Liverpool 2-3 at Anfield on the opening day of the group stages. They then lost to Atletico Madrid 1-2 at home, and it looked like their hopes to qualify for the knockout stages were over. The hopes were completely shattered when they lost to Porto in the third game and only drew the return fixture, ending up with one point from four games. But the results from other fixtures and their away win over Atletico Madrid have brought them back into the mix with chances of qualification. The game against Liverpool will be a big one in AC Milan’s season, as they could go through to the UCL round of 26 or the round of 32 of the Europa League. If not, then their European campaign could come to an end.