Gianni Vio: A Career in Set-Pieces (Part 6)

Set Piece Analysis
Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid

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AC Milan – 14/15 season

Part 1: Catania during the 07/08 + 08/09 seasons
Part 2: Catania during the 09/10 + 10/11 seasons
Part 3:  Catania during the 11/12 season
Part 4: Fiorentina during the 12/13 season
Part 5: Fiorentina during the 13/14 season

Vs Cesena 28/9/14 (corner)

We see the defence utterly bamboozled as one of the players pulls outside of the box. Another player makes a run towards the near post (dragging a defender with him). The player in the 6-yard box makes a run short taking 2 defenders with him whilst a group of 3 attacks the middle/back of the 6-yard area – getting the vital header on target.

Vs Chievo 4/10/14 (free kick)

We see the Vio screen successful at yet another club. The 2 kick takers give the keeper an uncertainty as to where he should place his wall and the keeper makes the wrong call – having to cover a lot of ground in order to try and attempt to save the free-kick.

Vs Fiorentina 26/10/14 (corner)

The players group towards the back of the 6-yard box (a favourite tactic of mine as it means the goalkeeper can’t see everyone out his peripheral vision giving the attackers a slight edge). Upon the kick take some of the players rush to the middle of the 6-yard box. The ball is aimed towards the back post and it’s knocked down to the players in the centre who make no mistake from close range.

Vs Sassuolo 13/1/15 (corner)

The corner is taken short which surprises Sassuolo and they push out. This corner is fantastically choreographed – re-watch the corner and keep your eye on the player in the D and watch how beautifully timed his run is. That in itself deserves a goal, but the shot rebounds off the bar – but luckily lands straight on the head of another Milan player.

Vs Juventus 7/2/15 (corner)

The movement for this corner is incredible, players jinxing in and out, making darting runs and generally being an absolute nightmare to defend against. It’s notable that no AC Milan player took the area by the near post – leaving it free for someone to attack from deep. I have an inkling that Vio knew this was a weak area for Juventus and had planned to attack this zone.

Vs Cagliari 21/3/15 (corner)

This corner has come up a few times so far in the Vio series. The player on the edge of the box drifts in unmarked and has a free shot on goal – albeit a very low-quality chance as it’s an incredibly difficult shot to hit first time with any accuracy.

Vs Sampdoria 12/4/15 (corner)

2 Sampdoria players are dragged out to cover the short corner – leaving the penalty area weakened. The initial Milan header is poor but Vio’s corners always have players well positioned for knock-downs or second balls and the finish is good (despite the horrific goalkeeping)

Vs Sassuolo 17/5/15 (corner)

Sassuolo line up in a zonal marking system protecting the 6-yard area. Milan group the bulk of their attack towards the back post. The corner is taken short giving the perfect angle for a cross into the back post. The Sassuolo zonal marking is overwhelmed by the amount of Milan players attacking the back post and the header is relatively easy.


Vio’s time at AC Milan was his worst in terms of % of team goals with a noticeable dip in free kicks scored – odd considering he had a decent free kick taker in Honda on the team. Nonetheless, it was a solid season for Vio’s corner routines. Vio then took a year out the game before getting hired by Brentford, which will be explored in Part 7.

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