Player Ratings: AC Milan 1-0 Sassuolo – Pulisic clutch; Leao disappoints

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan got back to winning ways against Sassuolo at San Siro on Saturday evening. However, it was far from a great performance, rescued by a moment of brilliance from Ismael Bennacer and Christian Pulisic. 

Starting XI

Maignan (6): He made a couple of good stops but wasn’t really forced to anything spectacular, bar maybe the Berardi effort in the first half. No howlers this time out, which is the most important thing.

Calabria (6): Decent in both phases of the game today, but he could have done better sometimes when driving forward with the ball. In any case, nothing major to complain about.

Kjaer (6): The Dane got his defensive duties done, also offering a threat on set pieces, but it was an average day for him just like many of his colleagues.

Hernandez (6): Even though he has played there a few times now, we have to be fair when assessing the Frenchman’s performances. Today, he did well overall and also made a couple of good sprinting interceptions.

Florenzi (6): Maybe it sounds a bit generous, seeing as Milan’s left side wasn’t exactly red hot, but he defended rather well and also had a couple of decent efforts in attack.

Loftus-Cheek (5.5): He’s strong, we all know it, but he simply didn’t offer enough when going forward tonight and that was a shame. He can be a lot more incisive than this, and Milan should demand more truth be told.

Bennacer (6.5): He got the crucial assist with a nice pass – albeit with some luck – and was pretty much spot on with most of his passing tonight. Not a spectacular performance by any means, but he was important.

Reijnders (6): His passing, just like Bennacer, was very nice at times but the Dutchman simply must improve in the final third. His shooting has let him down so many times this season and it happened again tonight.


Pulisic (7 – MOTM): Say what you want about his performance overall (it was far from amazing), but he was clutch once again for the Rossoneri. It was a great run in behind the defence and the finish was very composed. For a higher rating, he would have needed to do more besides the goal.

Giroud (5): Pretty much invisible for most of the game, bar a few touches here and there, and he was rightfully taken off after 63 minutes.

Leao (5): It wasn’t his evening, which unfortunately is a phrase that we have said many times this season already. He had many opportunities to run at the defence, 1v1, but he lost many duels and when he did win them, the final touch was lacking.


Adli (6): Bold with his passing and in possession, as always, but it was not much more than that. The game didn’t really allow more flash, we should add.

Jovic (5.5): He entered the pitch with energy but ended up playing too much with his back towards the goa. Maybe that was more the result of how the game panned out, though.

Zeroli (N/A): He got to make his debut for the Rossoneri but aside from a few sequences, we didn’t see enough to give a rating.

Simic (N/A): We didn’t see enough to give him a rating.

Chukwueze (N/A): We didn’t see enough to give him a rating.

Tags AC Milan AC Milan Player Ratings Christian Pulisic Rafael Leao Sassuolo


  1. Every time Adli comes on, I feel like he will score an own goal or give them some sort of advantage. Overall an extremely painful watch, when we play a team that on an average concedes 2 goals per game for a while now we should have shown the quality we have as a team but no, we still have to rely on Pulisic’s individual brilliance FFS

    1. 😅my sentiment about Adli as well. However I am more inclined to give him time and a chance. There is something about him that under the right coach he will blow us out of the water with his vision and passing ability. He just need to deal with being pressed by the opposition and make the right choices when under pressure…

    2. It’s by no demerits of Adli. Pioli is using an attacking midfielder as a CDM. Adli looked comfortable on the ball and looked for forward passes as usual and He was brought in for the position of CAM. Instead of using that strength of his, Pioli is using him as a regista tasked to help the defense lol. It’s more on Pioli than Adli. Pioli who sees players day in and day out in training should be able to at least figure out the strength of a player and use him accordingly. But oh well, what else can you expect from a coach who took 4 years to figure out Krunic is ONLY good as a DM.. and 3 years to find out Brahim is good as a RW LMFAO

      1. My point exactly. How does a player who Pioli himself said he doesn’t see him in any other position, not even as mezzela, other than CAM, now all of a sudden is being played in DM ? How does that add up. Meanwhile you move the best player we have for that deep midfield position, TjR, from that position and place Adli there. Makes no sense. Why not just play Adli in the advanced midfield positions where Benny was occupying before.
        I’ll tell you man, Pioli as our coach man…..

        1. Because he made himself available for that. He trained the whole summer for the role, he wasn’t forced. Pioli is not playing an attacking midfielder as dm. He’s playing a playmaker who trained to play deeper all summer in the exact position he’s training to play. And he’s improving. It’s taking time, but he’s doing it.

      2. Honestly, the mistakes Adli make cannot be justified by his positioning. It was poor decision-making and lack of concentration by him. He also made himself available for that position, which he said in one interview.

        1. he also just gives up on plays in a really offputting way and starts walking. Like what if the ball came back his way. He gave up on a play against psg and he could have stopped a goal…as a sub, he just seems to suck out the energy as opposed to adding it.

      3. I do agree with your assessment. It was a big risk playing Adli in front of the defense, rather than as an attacking midfielder. I don’t know what Pioli was thinking. Also, taking out Bennacer almost cost us the game. It was a bad end to a game where we controlled the game before the game.

    3. Yeah Adli gives away s lot of goals and chances, today again this horribke back pass straight to a Sassuolo player.
      I don’t even think that he needs to get more chances, it is not his first season and he isn’t good enough.

      1. Don’t want to say this but it feels like some people treat the wrong player like a king. I said this on Twitter and was attacked by his supporters saying Pioli is responsible for his performance.
        I don’t we need plyerFC in the fanbase with all the problems we already have.

    4. He no Andrea Pirlo (yet) but there’s something there. His passing is phenomenal at both short and long but I get what you’re saying. On the ball there’s always a possibility of possession change andquick break against us. With Bennacer and Tiji there’s more support defensively though so I’d say he can flourish in this mid…

      1. I haven’t seen a lot of Adli, but he quietly gives me Sergio Busquets vibes. Not there yet by a long shot, but looks like he could develop into that. Like Busquets, looks lackadaisical, seems to not be doing much. But good composure, trickery, and show the ability to perhaps make some magical things happen. Not that this worked out yesterday. But I could see how it might.

  2. Nothing spectacular, job done although performance was still toothless. And Bennacer is our only midfielder worth a mention. Reijnders seems more comfortable when Benny is around but he’s nothing special. RLC as well, apart from his build he’s average at best. 60 millions gave us quantity at best. Happy to see Zeroli and Simić coming on

  3. The only thing Pulisic did was to be in the right place to score. It’s good when a player has good positioning. For this game, Bennacer was the best player.

      1. Pulisic could have scored very early on had Leao made the easy pass to him instead of trying to do much. Puli was furious as he had made a great run. It would have been a much easier game.

    1. Watch that sequence again. Pulisic passed off the ball, and then pressed forwards against the defensive offside line, waving his arm. He was looking for a through pass, which Bennacer delivered. The pass was almost cut out by one of the defenders, but Pulisic adjusted to the deflected pass and made a nice shot across his body for the goal.
      This was not the usual “right place right time” easy tap-in of a loose ball bouncing around in front of goal.

    1. That’s a crazy comment. Pulisic perfectly set up Reijnders for a goal, and of course he missed it badly which is what he does. If someone can teach him how to shoot, then we might have something.

        1. If Pulisic hadn’t scored, the answer would be a resounding YES, because the miss would have cost us two points we can’t afford to lose.

          It’s only because Bennacer and Pulisic are a class above most of the other twenty on the pitch that the answer, today, is “no.”

        2. You seem to weight “a lot of work” as the only criteria.

          Work rate for both was roughly equal. Puli scored and created a couple more chances for others.

          Puli = MOTM. (This time)

        3. Yes. Goals are pretty important. The team with the most goals wins. That’s how that works. And if it was his first time I wouldn’t mind but it’s about the 10th time so far this season he has missed what should’ve been goals. It’s a problem.

          1. Are you seriously asking such a dumb question? Why is it a problem that a player constantly misses on great scoring opportunities? It’s a problem if you care about winning games.
            And if someone tried saying Chuku was MOTM I would chew him up too.

        4. If you think effort is what matters, and “ifs” do not, you’re the King of the Burros! Football is ALL about ifs and fine margins, and routinely mocks effort, or “what should be.”

          IF you score in the 90th minute of a match that your side is losing, 5-0, it’s a consolation. IF you score the same 90th minute goal when the score is tied, you’re the hero!

        5. The only if I see in your line of thinking is IF you had a brain. Sorry, bro you are off on this one. Reijnders is a good player but needs to finish his chances. Pulisic converted and we won. Pulisic was more valuable tonight.

    2. Reijnders was great today. But all work and movement without an end product would yield to nothing for us in this difficult time. Puli keeps coming up with clutch goals. I have to qualms about his MOTM.

      But that doesn’t take anything from Reijnders’ contributions. He was great.

    3. This is Insane, I watched the whole match and thought: Reinjders needs to be benched, ‘deers is running the midfield, into the ground.
      Zeroli looked a little timid, and RLC is so average it hurts.
      What is with Leao body language, Whoa is me, mentality.
      Bennacer looks good.

      Pulisic is single handedly Carrying this team.
      Since preseason its be the Pulisic Show.

  4. Giroud got zero service, and Jovic didn’t get much either. The offensive animation of this team is a real problem.

    And Rafa is wasteful but we already knew that.

  5. Take the 3 points and burn the tape.
    Another stale, unimaginative, lazy, boring performance offensively and thankfully defensively they were playing vs a poor team. There is zero movement of the ball. Everyone just stands and waits for the ball to get to them. The one time someone moved, they scored the goal.
    Since the summer fans couldn’t wait for Bennacer to come back so Milan can have a proper regista. Bennacer is back, and what does the Genio Pioli do? He plays the regista Bennacer as a box to box and the box to box midfielder Reijnders as a regista.
    Another clutch goal by Pulisic.
    Half way thru the season he has matched Brahim best season at Milan and surpassed Messias, Saelemaekers, Castillejo. Where would Milan be this season if they didn’t sign this Chelsea flop.
    Imagine if the winger on the other side contributed from time to time.
    Did Leao even win any duels today?
    Reijnders needs to be sent to the same shooting school Leao should go to. He does everything right but he lacks the final pass and shot.
    Giroud was useless again, but you can bet he will start again even vs Cagliari in the Copa.
    On the side note.
    Sassuolo’s left back Pedersen, who Milan was connected with over the summer, and people were saying another one of Moncada’s poor “algorithm” picks, outstanding defensively.

  6. Kjaer seems to own the airspace on defense. He took so many balls out of the air and on to his team mate’s feet. I’d say 6.5. glad he is back to steady us in the middle.

    Not sure what more is expected of Puli with the grudging 7. He was everywhere on defense and always available on offense. Then he switches sides and looked dangerous from the left as well. 7-motm is fair, just don’t understand the criticism?

    Giroud was invisible but gets a 5? I love the guy, but 4.5 alas. Jovic was a clear upgrade coming on the pitch

    Leao is clearly not fit today. Even relatively short runs he was gassed at the end of. I hope this is just from the injury recovery and not something new.

    RLC was a turnover machine in the first half. He seemed to run into dead ends and not have a pass or a move to get out. Passes were off a beat. Glad to see him take a shot or two, but a 4.5 please.

    Flo a grudging 6? Again he was solid on the left. That is out of position just like Theo. So he should get a pass too? Personally I found him acting the caption on the field again. Whether he was directing traffic or defusing Theo he was keeping the left focused on the absence of Leao’s best game. 6.5

    Adli nearly cost us a goal with a far to casual back pass. He looked sharper with his passing but his movement off the ball is still lacking.

    While I am glad to see Zeroli get a debut, it seems almost like cynical begging for good will. We were only up one. Why take such a risk like that when you didn’t start Simic and play Theo in his natural spot?

    All in all it looked like an average (for us) performance against a weak team. I’m further convinced out coach needs to evolve his approach in a direction with more upside than it currently appears we have.

      1. Nah, this guy rates Pulisic, just read some of his previous posts and he is fair to all players. I think at this point most fans have reached a boiling point with how the season has unfolded and only the negatives stand out and the positives are brushed over or taken for granted.

      2. The best thing Pioli can do is use Lotus cheek in front of the defence, he has played there at Chelsea, use Bennacer on his left and Reijnders on the right, they both work a lot , are combatative and creative, that way the midfield is both productive and solid, then use an attacking Midfielder in front of them, use Leao and a striker in attack, it’s becoming very evident that people are beginning to understand how to mark him, and he been in an attacking role together with another striker allows him to be near the post, and allows him to add another dimension to his game….
        Something that’s clearly a very big problem is a lack of clear vision of the play, players keep interrupting each others movements, and the team also needs to speed up the passing and movement, but if you have been watching Milan’s matches lately you will see the lack of o cohesive aim and objective, and honestly the club needs to make a decision on Giroud, he is not playing well and is not up to the task of leading the line…..

  7. And the American saves us again.
    Not a great performance overall but considering all the injuries, they did what they needed to do.
    Reindeers is a good dribbler, a good passer, but he is the worst shooter I’ve ever seen. He should have so many more goals this season.
    Leao is really going backwards. Trying to do too much, dribbling way too much. It’s killing our counter attacks. His decision making is so poor. Then you see a player like Pulisic who doesn’t have nearly the talent that Leao has but he’s more effective because he is smart and knows where to be and when to make the run.
    Still confused by Pioli’s decisions. We waited foe Bennacer to get back so we would finally have a proper DM, and he plays him as a 10. Then he takes him out and puts Adli, who is more of AM and plays him at DM… confusing.
    Good win anyways. The one thing you can say about Pioli is that the team never quits on him.

    1. Reijnders a good passer???? Just short pass, but when it comes to long and through ball it’s didn’t result into a a potentiel goal.

      1. I disagree. Reijnders has great technique on the ball and his passing is actually great. I love watching him on the ball. Remember Krunic’s passing? Always to the other team? Reijnders has great control on the ball.

        Remember, this midfield is pretty much brand new, and the players are still working on establishing a chemistry.

  8. I don’t agree that Pulisic didn’t do much besides the goal. He should have had an assist for his excellent cross, laying the ball rolling softly on a silver platter for Reijnders at the top of the box. Reijnders completely flubbed the open strike. Pulisic had a number of other strong crosses as well, and generally looked dangerous.

    1. Completely agree! A very strong performance end to end. Some great runs that shredded the defense, and with a little bit of passing accuracy, he could’ve had two more goals.

    1. Could be, could be… But he hasn’t thought about it till the end though. Any decent coach will ask Leao to defend to and he’s not interested in that at all. So… Perhaps Leao should try do his best to save Pioli’s ass?

        1. Just think Maldini’s Heir would have a heart attack with more new signings. I would prefer to see Leao stay but its hard to argue with what we are seeing.

  9. Despite the miss Rejndeers had a good game, i feel that him and Benacer as Mezzala plus Tonali as Regista/dm would have been a nice mid. Maybe try Loftus as a DM now since he does nothing in attack any way.

    1. Loftus does seem to be moving well out there. Looks stiff. I think when musah is back he will get run…oh right, isma is gone, so yeah i guess loftus will be in there

  10. I honestly thought that Reijnders did ok, Bennacer proves he is our best midfielder, and RLC proves that his PSG performance was probably a fluke. Happy for Adli that he didn’t cost us his usual goal when he is subbed in. Attacking wise, aside from Pulisic nothing to notice from either Giroud or Leao.
    I guess the good thing aside from the win is the younsters getting some time, and having no new injuries (yet?).
    But overall I’d say we were lucky to stumble upon a very poor copy of Sassuolo, and that Berrardi got injured.

  11. Good game for Mike and the defenders. Bennacer ,despite being rusty, showed he is a class above the rest of the midfielders. It’s a shame how much we downgraded in that department over the summer. Leao has been disappointing since coming back, but a lot of it may be down to fitness. Pulisic was decisive again and so far is the signing of the season.
    Overall, the team play still seems disjointed after half a season together. A change of system, a poor midfield, too many signings, injuries…etc. all contributed to that. The only positive for me is seeing the Primavera players getting involved. They should get more playing time given we are still playing three competitions.

  12. Leao deserves a 4, that guy is just f** lazy, 0 motivation I just can’t stand watching him play 1 good game out of 10…no consistency nothing. And Im not even talking his sloppyness in front of the goal…

  13. Adli had two defensive failures that his companions had to rescue. Average, overrated player who is a big defensive liability. I’d rate him a 5 at best.

    Bennacer was excellent; not sure what game the rater here saw. By the way, as soon as he was subbed out, the team dropped in performance.

    Puli could have done more? What, exactly? He won the game for us and also tracked back and thwarted at least two good counters by Sassuolo. Great game by Puli; together with Bennacer, one of our two best players.

    Leao was poor today and got dominated by their right back. He’s one great play and finish to score got called back for an offside (correctly). Pity.

    1. Adli is not a six. We STILL don’t have a six. We STILL need to bring in a proper 6. The only way Adli sees the field is if he plays as a 6 unfortunately.

    1. That excuse would make sense if Leao actually played well before the injury.
      He got injured vs Lecce on Nov 11th. The last goal he scored in serie A was on Sept 23th.
      He was out for only 1 month and has been back for 20 days now.
      Bennacer who was out for 7 months and has been back for 20+ days looks in better form and shape than Leao.
      This is just who Leao is.
      The whistles and boos were absolutely justified. Since Pioli won’t tell him, the fans have to tell him that he is playing like crap.

    2. There’s definitely something off about him. Doesn’t look fully fit still. But glad his production is coming from Puli to make up for it.

      1. That says a lot about important Pulisic is this season.
        If Leao was like this last season, with Messias and Alexis on the ring wing we probably wouldn’t even make it to a Europa League spot.

    3. They are not unjustified. He needs to do better. And it’s not about being fit, his decision making is horrible. Many times we have numbers on the counter attack and he kills it by trying to dribble too much. Give the ball up, make a run , and maybe you get it back for a goal. He needs to be smarter. There are easier ways to score other than trying to dribble several defenders every time.

      1. You saw everything you needed to see, three minutes in. Pulisic made a run with the ball down the right channel, sent the ball into the middle, which was immediately sent out left to Leão where he has time and space, and instead of a layoff to Giroud in the middle, Reijnders at the top of the box, or finding Pulisic, who continued his brilliant run and was all alone in front of goal, Leao cuts back to his right foot, takes the shot himself, and it’s a complete donkey of a shot.

        Throw in several offsides, usually at critical moments, and that pretty well summarized Leao’s performance.

  14. Great having bennacer back! I do like having both he and reijnders on the pitch at the same time. Two midfielders who have class and quality on the ball…..but it doesn’t seem like pioli has figured out his midfield now that benny is back. Which is unforgivable. I’m really hoping for more purpose and ideas from the front 6 in the coming games. Trying to be hopeful but that overall was a flat performance. God dammit I want Milan to play better futbol than this.

  15. The main positive from this match is the clean sheet. I know we still played our usual football and all our concerns Pioli/injuries/management are legit but we won.

    Mike made his routine saves and had a few long passes that looked good. Overall, good performance.

    The backline kept the clean sheet so respect for that given the injuries. Calabria looked good in defense and provided an outlet for teammates to escape pressure. In more advanced positions of the field I wish he could have done more. Theo looked good defensively which isn’t what he is known for but good today. Overall, the backline kept a good shape and didn’t break.

    In the middle of the park Bennacer looked great today. It’s nice to see that one of our midfielders can handle pressure in tight space and not cough up the ball. Reijnders ran hard but still lacking the finishing touch which is what we really need from our midfielders. RLC was not good. He looks a bit lost when driving forward and finds himself alone in a corner to often. Overall, the midfield still plays too slow, kicking the ball around the park aimlessly waiting for the defense to get out of position which does not happen in Serie A.

    For the forwards, Giroud was a ghost, I can not remember seeing him getting in on the action. The sub was warranted. Leao, world class talent, always dangerous so teams cannot sleep on him but when teams set up defensively which our midfield allows he won’t get on the scorers sheet with pace and dribbling. I wish he worked harder off the ball and diversify his game. Pulisic got us the three points and should have had an assist if Reijnders didn’t bottle his chance. Pulisic knows where to be and reads the game well. Overall, what seems to be consistent is Pulisic is the only player on the front line who is willing to change his attacking tactics based on how the defense is playing. Leao waits for space and Giroud waits for a cross to get a head on.

    Pioli set up a team that got a clean sheet (maybe Sassuolo fault more than Pioli’s plan) so he didn’t get it wrong but Simic could have started. When I saw Adli come on I braced for a mistake and we lucked out he didn’t throw the game. IMO, Adli was only playing because Musah is injured and Bennacer is returning from injury. The Leao sub only leads to more questions… Is Leao fit? Was Leao that bad that we needed to take him off and sub in another RW and move Pulisic into his position on the left (I know Pulisic is a natural LW and Okafor is injured)? If Pioli subbed Chukwueze for Pulisic and just left Leao on the score would have remained the same but now the media has a narrative of should Pulisic start over Leao?

    1. Agree with you pretty much on all points. Milan just isn’t quick enough with it’s passing driving forward, allowing Sassuolo to regroup every time and get players in the box…

      This is one of Pioli’s tactical shortcomings, among others.

    2. Excellent points all. I think it’s clear that Pulisic is a better player than Leao. Full stop. Smarter, better first touch, better shot. Only Leao’s physicality is better with regards to speed and strength.

      1. Well Pulisic could have been a terrific player if not for injuries. He is not old and he definetly has the brains.

        Honestly, I feel that Leao has more abilities to change a game than Pulisic, the way he dribbles and crosses/shoots makes it look that he can do whatever he wants to anyone, also his speed and strength. Leao’s problem is his mentality and decision making, he doesn’t seem to know when to shoot or cross or dribble and he is overall lazy. Also he seems to know only one way to play.
        Pulisic, as you say, is simply smarter and an overall better team player.

    3. I’ve been trying to put words to this for weeks. “The midfield is slow.” Not in the sense of running but in the quick, decisive passing that keeps us moving forward in attack BEFORE the “defense can get set up.”

      Thanks for the thoughts!

  16. I am a fan of Giroud ,but the service to him diabolical..
    For goodness sake get some decent crosses into him .
    Even the corners we had were poor…
    Rafael leao got criticism as usual ,but he still has class .just think sometimes he overdoes things and doesn’t deliver that final ball ⚽️ but still a great player to have .A good win anyhow ,but we should have won by more than one goal .not a good performance though .
    We deserved the win ,,,and still feel sure good times lay ahead ..MOTM …yes got to give it to pulisic .

    1. Giroud is just too limited, as he doesn’t have the technique on the ball. That’s why he either flicks on the long balls, or attempts headers from set pieces. Very limited as a striker. Nothing against him. He’s no spring chicken.

    2. We cannot have a striker that is useful only when attacking crosses in the box. He cannot attack the space, he cannot past his opponent, he does not keep the ball on his feet.
      We need a better striker, period.

        1. Yes, like I said in one of my comments, this team never quits on Pioli which means he still has their respect. They did what they needed to do today. But this team still lacks ideas offensively.

        2. Yes, that 5-0-5 formation was brilliant. Lots of innovative passes to Leao for the run around the Sassuolo RB, who he dominated. In fact, we could have won 4-0, we just didn’t want to. We put Sassuolo to the sword metaphysically.

  17. Utility win. Many of the same issues remain. Tactical discipline, inability to close the shot takers fast enough, lack of ideas in the final third… All Pioli problems that aren’t going away.

    I’m glad the team came together and fought for the win. As that’s exactly what the doc had ordered. But I can’t wait to upgrade on Pioli, BUT in the summer.

    I think RLC needs a break – he hasn’t been himself after the PSG game. Or maybe more worryingly, his current form is his norm and PSG performance was a freakish performance. On the other game, I really liked Reijnders’ movement and touches. Technically fantastic to watch. But his shot accuracy has to improve (over the summer).

    Puli continues to score and assist. Has to be one of the most clutch signings. not bad from a “chelsea reject”, critics? Calabria has a pretty good game and Theo also looked reasonable as a CB.

    Giroud was a waste of space and shouldn’t have started. Glad Primavera players saw the field. And Adli continues to NOT inspire any confidence. While Chuk continues to see too few minutes to improve…

    Again, not a win to write home about, but a much needed one none the less as it shows that the team is capable of coming together in difficult moments.

    1. Ha yes I’m still waiting for the “Chelsea reject” to return to his PSG form – or at least the one who helped us win all those games at the start of the season before he got injured.

  18. Good win, we’re getting back ‘there’ slowly, but surely. It feels we were more of a control team than attacking, more Guardiola than (the usual-ish) Klopp. I’m not sure if it’s only for this match (because Sassuolo will become more dangerous the more free-for-all the match gets) or if it’s a new approach going forward (Having Benny back with Reijnders creates a more technical control-y kinda middle.)
    But yea, we need to slowly rack up those wins, build back confidence.
    And please leave Leao; he’ll find his way back.

  19. I must say, whenever Maldini’s Heir says “go support another team” I wince. (I generally agree with his views, he’s sensible; but that part makes me cringe).
    But then if you start feeling sad that your team is winning or as soon as it looks like your team would not lose as you’d hope, and so you start making it a point to point out all the reasons why the victory is luck or not deserved…
    Maybe find another team? I’m just saying, you shouldn’t be sad your team won. That sounds miserable.

    1. I maintain that these toxic fans are very much part of the problem and are the exact sort of people who get exploited by the media, club owners and agents.

      Also – as a fan – if a person is going to insult my team, my manager, my players, I’ll hit back.

      People who claim to be fans and insult the team should find a different team. I don’t want them supporting my team.

    2. I can’t tell if you guys think everything Milan does is fine / good, or if you think criticism is bad.

      Care to offer your thoughts?

      While I’m not a fan of baseless criticism, I do appreciate people’s viewpoints and opinions. Being a fan doesn’t mean smiling and clapping along regardless of what’s actually happening in front of you.

      1. Viewpoints and opinions are one thing. Trolling, ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments are something else. Clapping and smiling along is almost as dumb but I don’t think anyone here’s really doing that? It’s the hysterical overreactions to everything that gets me…

        “Why did a big bad greedy American businessman have to buy my football team and spend 100 mil on reinforcing it? 😭”

        “Why are we only 3rd in the league despite going through the largest injury crisis known to football and star players not performing? 😭😭”

        “Why did we let Maldini Tonali Colombo and CDK go? This is why we’re 3rd before Christmas 😭😭😭”

  20. Another invisible man performance by Giroud. I believe he did not score a single Seria A goal in San Siro except penalties.
    But somehow he still get credits from the fans. I hope Okafor and Jovic will get their chances from the first minute.

  21. Giving Calabria and Adli the same rating, almost feels like we’ve been seeing a different match. Calabria was solid today, Adli was shaky in possession and almost cost us an equaliser, this rating is abysmal imo.
    Kjaer was brilliant, it so good to have him back.
    Pulisic well deserved a better rating, he covered the right flank from attack to defense, immense effort and great tackles. Got beat up good, well deserved 7.5 for me

    1. Entirely agree. Why the hell are some people criticizing Pulisic? He was together with Bennacer one of our two best players. Calabria, much better than Adli who is a liability. Adli costs us games. Kjaer was indeed brilliant, our third best player yesterday.

      Giroud needs a break and Jovic has been better than him; Jovic should start games.

      Leão has been clearly off-fitness. Even his speed has suffered. There is something physically wrong with him.

  22. Say what you want about Pioli but this team plays for him. Time after time when he is on the ropes, they manage to win and it shows in her dedication to the skipper. The issue is he does not know how to foster the killer instinct. The win at all costs, ruthless mentality that Inter has is what we need to adopt. Pulisic is our best attacking player. He is smart, has an outstanding first touch and works hard for the team. It honesty seems that his shine is making Leao play worse and not better which is disappointing. Puli currently doubling him in league goals. This team can be so frustrating to watch because you can see the talent that the squad has but they seem to bottle half their passes and opportunities. It truly seems like a mental issue and that has to count against Pioli ultimately. I think we’ll continue to see a season with outstanding wins and infuriating losses and draws, and no second star. I don’t think Pioli has the ability to turn this squad into ruthless winners, but I also think this squad is still short on the kind of talent needed to be perennial winners. For the fans, it’s at times like these being a fan matters most. The wins are sweet and the losses are devastating, but we go on.

    1. Inter drew with Genoa and haven’t won a Scudetto under Inzaghi and possibly never will.

      If anyone lacks a killer instinct it’s him.

      1. Sure, the guy whose Inter team beat us 5 times in a year, outplayed Man City in the UCL final and sit 9 points ahead of us in the league lacks a killer instinct. The difference between winning and losing titles can come to fine margins, Inter’s back-up ‘keeper cost them against Bologna I believe, and donkey Lukaku blew a great chance in the UCL final. Inzaghi is a fantastic coach and I’m sure will have a very successful future. Pioli will not.

        1. “outplayed Man City” are you sure? And I’m not saying you do this but a lot of fans don’t let Pioli off the hook when one of our players makes a costly mistake as you just did with Inter’s striker and keeper.

          1. Yes, Inter did play better than ManCity in the UCL final and could have won that game. I hate Inter but I have to acknowledge that they are a very good team. They almost never get their main players injured and I do think that if we did not have the muscle injury problem and our players were as available as Inter’s players are, we might be in a different situation as compared to Inter. But as things stand, Inter are clearly better than we are.

      2. You’re so stuck in your own ridiculous, single-minded world view that I’m honestly starting to think you’re just out to agitate people, but your comments have an air of arrogance and ignorance about them that make me think you’re just genuinely delusional.

        Inter are a world class team that plays consistently excellent, winning football and made the Champions League final last year. They drew a match. Not great, admittedly.

        You use this to try to create some sort of absurd point that they’re mediocre. Nice going. Nobody believes your bullshit anymore.

  23. I think Leao should play more in the middle. Teams are wise to him now, and as soon as he gets the ball down the left, they double up on him. Oh, and Adli should play further forward; he holds up and distributes well, but he nearly gives me a heart attack whenever he gets the ball in front of Maignan.

    1. They didn’t need to double up on him yesterday, he is woefully out of form and just kept running out of ideas. The team worked him a lot of good chances to do something yesterday but he wasn’t able to convert any of them into opportunities, let alone goals. Milan’s primary gameplan for the last couple of years has been to get Leao isolated against a defender, and whilst that plan worked perfectly yesterday, Rafa wasn’t able to make anything with those chances. Last time he was in this rut it was Theo who bailed him out by always getting forward to support and offer alternatives but obviously that’s not possible whilst he’s stuck at CB and we can’t expect the same from Florenzi.

  24. Problem is that 5-0-5 system in place. Midfield is still clueless because it’s poorly constructed. Reijnders feels a lot more comfortable with Benny around. Which means (and I sound like a broken record) we desperatley miss a proper holding midfielder. With a proper DM both Benny and Reijnders would be free to cook. I feel bad for Musah as I think he’s being misused. I see a lot of Kante in him and with proper guidance he could well become one. With that giving more protection and balance to the midfield. RLC is just past it.

    They won, 3 points bagged. But it doesn’t take away all the problems that were still evident in this match.

  25. What a funny rating again. I am already not sure if he even watched the game. There was only one MOTM in this game — and that was Bennacer. Amazing game which saved it for Milan. The only player which showed class in that game. The rest was just dreadful.
    Adli 6??? Again? Did you watch it at all? C’mon!
    The only reason we did not concede was awful Sasu form and Berardi injury.

    1. Pulisic with the goal and a near assist. Huge work rate. Shifted sides an kept it up after Chuk came on.

      Reinjders 92% pass completion. 8 duels won. Huge work rate as well.

      Flo marshalling the left and keeping Theo sane.

      Kjaer locking down the airspace in the middle and always being in position?

      Benny could be MOTM but to say he was the only class or the rest were all dreadful is to admit to only watching Benny and not the whole game.

      1. Pulisic and Benny jumped off the screen to the average footballing fan but you made some nice points about Kjaer and Flo. I did not notice how dominate Kjaer was in the air until you pointed it out. I really like Flo, he is an intelligent player and he did keep shape with Theo which may not be easy to do with Theo’s risk taking style but it looked right last night.

        interesting Pulisic won 9 duels but even more crazy is he was involved in 15 overall. Reijnders definitely did his work and won 8 out 10 duels.

        1. After reading your response (thanks) I wanted a true defn of “duel”. I was clearly missing some of Puli’s game.

          So apologies to the moderator if this is inappropriate. No hard feelings of you take it down.

          I stumbled on “dataglossary dot wyscout for com slash duel slash” and ended up reading all the entries from the menu. I learned that my intuitive understanding of these terms was pretty good but i was missing a lot of the game that matters. There were about 10 terms I didn’t realize had formal definitions.

          Hope some others have fun needing out with it as well.

  26. Its so weird reading comments here these days. Before the game it was all about not doing the suicide press, playing youth and not getting anymore injuries. So we played a slow build up game, didn’t do the suicide press, no further injuries, played the youths and we won. And that’s still a problem 🤣🤣🤣😂😂
    I dont know what what to say.
    Anyways my take on this is that it was a great victory against our bogey team. I watched back the 2-5 loss vs them the last time around before I watched this game and I’m glad we setup the team the way it was setup. Sassuolo wants to play run and gun football so by sitting back and playing conservatively with a patient build up we nullified most of their attacking threats. That Berardi, the best right winger for the last 5-6 years in Serie A, wasn’t fully match fit also helped. I saw a very patient team out there. There were a couple of moments where we started playing basketball football but thankfully it was only for a short while. Its those occasions where Sassuolo are at their most dangerous. I would say this about Leao, anytime he tracks back to defend we always win. I wish he could do that more often. Ruben Lostballs Cheek need to do better though. Since his “Gullit” game, he hasn’t really done much. Calabria as usual underrated made a beautiful interception towards the end of the game with his opponent ahead of him. And unlike the rate I’d say he didn’t over commit. He played the role perfectly. Pederson was also playing well so no need to force it. Sometimes you have to recognize when the other team has a particular strength or which player is playing well
    Also Pederson was a beast in this game. Puli goal came by moving to the opposite side of the pitch from where Pederson was. And as the stay-bafk defender on corners, he nullified all our counters on corners (he played RB to snuff out Leao) Instead of Miranda, I’d say get him instead as our LB. He had a beast of a game.

  27. Fair point on the slow build up to nullify Sassuolo’s attack but is that the style we want to play? I guess with the current team and health that might be the best idea, at least against Sassuolo. Some would argue we opened up against Monza and dominated (score sheet) and they like to open up just the same. Perhaps you are on to something because it did appear Sassuolo were playing defensively waiting for a RLC turnover to hit us on the counter and that didn’t happen so a slower build up may have helped us defensively and secure the win. On the other hand we built so slow in our own half we were prone to an Adli turnover and a goal conceded which almost happened. With the slower build up it negates Leao’s strengths, leaves Giroud boxed in the box, midfielders getting into each others ways and then there is Pulisic used to this because watching this Milan team is like watching the USA national team but with better players. Same ideas same coaching creditability. Maybe Cardinale has GGG on speed dial?

    Agree with you on Pederson he looked awesome in that game, not sure if he is available. Again, agree, Calabria had a great game and he plays well with Pulisic so I like that combo.

    Let’s hope we don’t play basketball football because it could turn into BASEketball. Look that one up.

  28. Milan clearly needs a good striker. Giroud and jovic not offering much. Their style of game also shapes the way we play. We can’t keep playing like this – waiting for crosses from Leao, who’s clearly not in form. We need a striker who can take on opponents. Good to have Bennacer back in the team. For me, he was the man of the match. Milan lost their plot once Pioli took him out. Leao and Loftus-Cheek were below average, for the second game in a row. Pioli, for me, is to blame for way Leao plays. You don’t earn so much to stroll on the pitch, or play the way you want. He cannot behave this way, playing at a team like Man. City. I admire the way Guardiola has shaped the likes of Folden, Bernardo Silva, etc, to play with the strikers. Leao has a lot to learn. Loftus-Cheek, with time, will learn that Serie A is different. You have to be strong, and decisive. Sometimes, I watch him tell other teammates to mark an opponent that is free in the box, even when he is not taking on anyone, as if he is afraid to do that in the box, when there is a set-piece or corner-kick.

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