Big test for the side, who should have regained some confidence and perhaps even a semblance of cohesion after the solid 0-3 victory away to Malmo midweek….
We proved for 45 minutes we could maintain a hard pressing, high octane, even exciting brand of football, for we were in close to full control. Affording the visitors barely a sniff of any opportunity and pouncing forward with enthusiasm and directness repeatedly. Hardly an onslaught but confident, capable, organised.
Unfortunately, AC are resilient and have an exceptional away record in recent times. Even with their own absentees, their squad form and Pioli tactical changes made the second period much more even with the equaliser deserved and only a world class save from Tek denying us another loss.
Locatelli is of course useful in front of the defence. I imagine he would be useful anywhere across the middle, but he is somewhat wasted there, and is probably not the natural regista fit for Max or our side, which is slowly becoming one and the same.
Dybala was in fine fettle until the spaces he was occupying deep were blocked rendering him fairly redundant in the second period.
Defensively we switched off for that one moment when Rebic ghosted between Rabiot and Loca to place his header well beyond Tek.
I take the positives from this one. We outplayed a side in much better form than us for half the game. We put together some decent passages of play. A point gained rather than two lost for me, as presently we need above all else to steady the ship.
We now have games against Spezia and Samp before the worrisome bout with Chelsea, two matches to continue our upward turn of form, get Chiesa back involved, work on the system and hopefully gain 6 points and further confidence and cohesion.
Small steps, but I believe they are loosely in the right direction.