GdS: ‘The night of a true 10’ – Leao inspires Milan despite up and down game

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were once again led by Rafael Leao last night against Slavia Praha, as he has a hand in two of the four goals and generally was a thorn in the opposition’s side.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) point out this morning, to win the Europa League you need consistency within the 90 minutes which means that Stefano Pioli and his side certainly have a lot of work to do.

To go all the way, however, you also need great players and Leao continues to send signals in this tournament. Against Rennes he made his mark twice, in the first and second legs, and while he didn’t score against Slavia Praha he was fundamental.

The Portuguese winger was the password with which Milan unlocked and eventually won a complicated game, and Leao stood out as one of the few players that actually demonstrated the supposed gap in quality between the two.

Milan will keep their genie in the lamp until the return match in Prague next week given that he is suspended against Empoli, so he will arrive fresh and rested for the return leg, hoping to drag the Rossoneri into the quarter-finals.

Leao’s match, to be honest, was not similar to the ones against Rennes in terms of intensity, participation and sacrifice. Yesterday, the classic version of Rafa was on stage.

What does that mean? There were large patches of the game where he did little, a miss in front of goal that would have put the match to bed at the start of the second half, but also unique and above all surgical runs.

The first opened the scoring in the first half when he darted in on the left and whipped a ball with his right foot onto Olivier Giroud’s head, then for the fourth goal he went on a trademark slalom run to near the byline and lifted the ball over the goalkeeper allowing Christian Pulisic to tap in.

Milan will fly to Prague with a two-goal lead and while progress is far from secured, it will likely be thanks to the flashes from their No.10 if they do complete the job.


Tags AC Milan Milan Slavia Praha Rafael Leao


  1. I always wonder why Sempre Milan site doesn’t have a list of all ACM goalscorers (marcatori) with assists as well. Actually, there should be 3 different lists:

    One list for Serie A: goalscorers + Assists
    One list for European competitions: goalscorers + Assists
    One list with all competitions together: goalscorers + Assists

    Yes, there are many websites with goalscorers stats but many of them don’ include assists!? And since this is ACM website and we are all here for goals and assists I think having such stats for all of us who are coming to this website is A MUST!

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