AC Milan has found themselves in the challenging “group of death” in the Champions League, and things haven’t gone according to plan. Following a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, Milan now sits at the bottom of Group F with no victories in three matches. However, there is still hope for Milan as the group dynamics offer a chance for a turnaround.
Currently, only four points separate the group leaders, PSG, from Milan in the fourth position. The key competitors, Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle United, are both just two points ahead of Milan. This puts extra importance on the upcoming fixtures, especially the reverse encounter with PSG, as well as the matches against Dortmund and Newcastle.
Despite their strong performance in domestic competitions, Milan has yet to find the back of the net in the Champions League, and they conceded their first goals of the tournament against PSG. In their last outing, they allowed three goals, which was a disappointment.
So, what has gone wrong for Milan? When analyzing their underlying statistics, it’s clear they are underperforming. Milan is one of only two teams in the Champions League yet to score a goal, with an expected goals (xG) of 4.27. In contrast, Benfica, the other goalless team, has an xG of 2.28. Milan’s performance against Newcastle United, where they took 25 shots with an xG of 1.99, illustrates their struggles in converting chances into goals.
However, while variance is inherent in short competitions like the Champions League, Milan has the potential to turn things around. Even a draw in their home fixture against PSG could put them in contention. Players like Christian Pulisic, who have been performing well in Serie A, give reason to believe that Milan will start finding the back of the net in the Champions League.
To climb back in the group, Milan needs to take advantage of PSG’s vulnerability on the road, as the Parisians have won only two of their last five away matches in all competitions. A single victory would narrow the gap to just one point, and there is still hope for Milan to advance. Coach Stefano Pioli must find a way to replicate their domestic success in European competitions sooner rather than later, but advancement remains a viable possibility.