Kaka-like Loftus-Cheek and a Leao landmark: All the key stats from Milan-Rennes

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan took a big leap towards the last 16 of the Europa League with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Stade Rennais at San Siro in the first leg of their play-off tie.

The game could hardly have gone better for Milan, as a brace from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and a beautiful strike from Rafael Leao gave them a three-goal lead to take to France next week.

Rennes came into the game having won every game in 2024 and eight in a row across all competitions, but found themselves potentially out of the tie after 57 minutes.

Below are some of the best stats that we have picked out from what was a great San Siro European night under the lights.

A generous scoreline?

Almost every fan watching the game could not argue with the fact that Milan deserved to be comfortable winners, but the stats show that in terms of Expected Goals it was 2.29 to 0.69, suggesting a two-goal margin might have been more accurate.

Nonetheless, the Rossoneri had 60% possession and seven more shots in total than their opponent, doubling their number of shots on target too.

It was 4-1 in favour of the home side in terms of big chances (which perhaps suggests a three-goal margin was in fact fair), and Milan had four times as many corners.

Imperious RLC

Loftus-Cheek scored a brace on the night and although both were headers they came in very different ways. The first was a towering yet glancing finish from an Alessandro Florenzi cross, while the second was more stooping and diving to convert a rebound from a corner.

Those were goals number six and seven for the Englishman this season, meaning he has already matched Sandro Tonali’s entire tally at Milan.

His sixth goal of 2024 means he has in this calendar year doubled the amount of goals he got from 2019 to 2023 inclusive.

There was something else quite remarkable about the two goals RLC scored last night, because it was something that had not been done for 17 years and it was by Kaka.

Leao landmark

Rafael Leao netted the goal of the night as he thumped home a cut-back from Theo Hernandez after he had found the full-back initially with a brilliant backheel.

It was his 50th goal for the club across all competitions, and as Anto Vitiello points out the winger is the only player in Serie A to have found the net in four different competitions this season: league, Champions League, Coppa Italia and Europa League.

The goals keep flying in

Milan have been in brilliant scoring form to start 2024. In order, they scored: four against Cagliari (Coppa Italia), three against Empoli, one against Atalanta (cup), three against Roma, three against Udinese, two against Bologna, three against Frosinone, one against Napoli and three last night.

The grand total is 23 goals in nine games, and failure to score in zero of them. The attacking threat has been nicely spread too which will please Pioli.

Real recognition

Stefano Pioli seemed fired up by Opta stating that his side have a less than six per cent chance of winning the Europa League, insisting he will let his players know too.

They responded on the field, and three of the star performers were elected into the WhoScored team of the week by virtue of their match rating. Also, Leao’s goal has been named the UEL goal of the week.



Tags AC Milan Milan Rennes


  1. what bothers me about that stat regarding RLC is that Milan hasn’t done jack shit with this club since 2007. That is what that piece of information does to me and I can’t imagine anyone else feeling good about that stat.

    The team deserved so much better from an owner who is worth the ground that players like Kaka and Pirlo have walked on.

  2. I compare RLC to RLC. He’s gaining consistency too.

    Anyways, even with a 3-0 we could have scored even more. And the good thing is our away form has also improved as time went on.

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