Player Ratings: AC Milan 1-1 Atalanta – Leao breaks drought; Adli pivotal

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan were held to a 1-1 draw against Atalanta this evening despite creating several good chances. Rafael Leao was the standout player, scoring the lovely opener, and below are the player ratings for the Rossoneri. 

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out how we decide the player ratings. From the scale to what affects the rating, we have compiled everything there.

Starting XI

Maignan (6.5): He was very good with his distribution today and showed his class with a great save on Lookman towards the end. He couldn’t do much about the penalty either.

Florenzi (6.5): A very solid display from the veteran with contributions in both phases of the game. It’s understandable that Pioli took him off, given the tight schedule, but the feeling is also that Milan could have used his crosses towards the end.

Thiaw (6.5): Calm and composed from start to finish, not making any howlers this time out. Atalanta only had a few shots on target, which says a lot, and they struggled big time despite scoring so many goals in the last few rounds.

Gabbia (6.5): He was responsible for a very optimistic shot from outside the box, which wasn’t even close, but apart from that he was really solid once again. Won the ball back plenty of times and nothing changed even when Atalanta made their subs.

Hernandez (6): This rating might sound harsh, especially since he had one or two good runs at the end, but he was a bit too ‘flat’ when going forward today. He can do much more when arriving at speed and we saw little of that. But he was certainly decent.

Adli (7): One of his best displays of the season, without a doubt, having a clear impact on the game with bold passing, constant movement and some great interventions in defence. He was the only one (maybe Leao too) who attempted tough passes, not to mention his vertical passing which opened up Atalanta time after time.

Bennacer (5.5): Not the best of games from the Algerian, yet again, failing to find the right solutions even though his movement was decent. Even when he did end up in good crossing positions, he didn’t exactly shine either.

Pulisic (5.5): He nearly cost Milan a goal with a big mistake in the first half and also missed a great chance in the second. Sure, it was a great first touch to bring down Leao’s pass but you can demand much more from him there. With his quality, this is not good enough.

Loftus-Cheek (5.5): The Englishman had plenty of promising moments tonight but the end product was almost always the same: poor. Above all, he missed a great chance after Leao put it on a silver platter, failing to connect with the ball.

Leao (7.5 – MOTM): Finally, the goal drought in the league has come to an end, and what a goal that was! Simply stunning from the winger, who also deserved at least one assist after setting up both Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic (as mentioned). He was behind almost everything tonight and that goal is so important for him.

Giroud (5): He was often too late into the challenge and lost a few duels, which isn’t usually the case. Granted that the service wasn’t always the best, his positioning was a bit off and this made things difficult for his teammates. Then, of course, he also caused the (albeit questionable) penalty.


Calabria (5.5): Not enough impact in the attacking phase, despite getting into good positions on more than one occasion. Crossing is what Milan needed at the time and he failed to provide it.

Musah (6): Lively and always on the move, getting past his opponent with relative ease in most sequences. A good sub given how the game was going.

Okafor (5.5): He only had a few minutes on the pitch, of course, but had one or two chances to make a difference and he failed to do so.

The manager

Pioli (6.5): It’s hard to blame the manager here, really, as Milan dominated the game and only failed to clinch all three points due to a questionable penalty call. Not to mention that his players missed a few good chances tonight. Perhaps some of the changes could have come earlier, though.

Tags AC Milan AC Milan Player Ratings Atalanta Rafael Leao Stefano Pioli Yacine Adli


        1. You seem to be a nice guy. I like your comments. Don’t let the hate get you down. I am sorry some here take their anger out on you. You must be strong man from it.

          1. I was also clown like you in the past.
            I used to troll and insult people online, considering they wouldn’t see me in real life… untill I got cought and beaten up.
            It took my 3.5 years of life attending to grappling class to take my revenge back which I got it eventually.
            But ever since, I stopped insulting people online.

            I am not trying to scare you but you never know who’s you are ‘playing with’ online and you can’t be 100% sure if they won’t catch you in real life.

            You insulted me at least 4-5 times out of nowhere. It seems like you don’t take accountability at all but one day you will also get caught

      1. Some people worship Satan so that’s not fair. Don’t worry tonights result was all part of God’s plan. Just listen to Drake he will teach you about God.

  1. Great game by Rafa. We played much better than Atalanta, 20 shots against 8, 554 accurate passes against 215. We really deserved to win this game; basically we did win it but the ref decided otherwise.

    1. Been thinking about that. It was a bad call IMO, but it was early enough in the game we should have put in another. Especially given our outright domination. I can only SMH and credit Carnesechi.

        1. I’m not Boulden. I just thought it’d be funny to reply you. Relax man, it’s just a forum and I think people are allowed to disagree with other people’s opinions. Besides he only asked if you were blind which is a yes or no question and then he asked what was wrong with you thereby showing genuine concern for a fellow fan. Not a big deal if you ask me. 🙂

          1. The thought of you going to see Boulden when you get his address makes me laugh. I just imagined it and it’s really hilarious. Good luck mate.

      1. Milan are boring to watch these days.
        We scored 1 goal instead of them to go in search for the second goal, they feel relaxed passing the ball at the back as if we are 3 goals ahead. They should put pressure on their opponents as they did against PSG not until 5 minutes to the end of the match they will be rushing to score goal which is already late. They can do better than this, Kudos to leao and others who performed well.

        1. We pressured Atalanta plenty. Created many scoring situations but our finishing was lacking.

          To call this boring is ridiculous. Maybe you’re supporting the wrong team. Inter could use your fandom.

        2. I was thinking the opposite. We played an amazing game with actual patterns of play. Passing was crisp and OMG off the ball movement looked like Puliaic has been giving lessons. Or maybe Pioli said in the press “Be more like Puli”

          Adli, whom I do t have a great deal of confidence in, was my MOTM. His defense and positioning were great. He also made many a risky pass connecting many.

          Puli with a 5.5 is another head scratcher. Most don’t make the first touch that well. Even fewer even try to get such a shit off. And he was always available on a channel. Thinking about that how was he also that deep on defense to make the one poor pass.

          Bennacer at 5.5 is fair and I wonder if we shouldn’t be working him in more gradually. That said Reinjders got an entire night off! Looking forward to seeing him sharp again.

          I thought it was interesting and clever to bring on Okay and move Leao right. Atalanta had a tough time adjusting.

          All in all my only gripe is I’d have liked to see subs on about 10 min sooner. Seemed we need more energy about 65min in.

          1. yup, it was a much better gameplay. We were moving the ball a lot faster compared with a lot of other games.

            I also think it’s really hard to make sub considering okafor and chukuweze hadn’t been making much impact recently when they came on. Unfortunately we didn’t have Jovic available.

            Maybe Musah should be given a attacking role? He can certainly drive forward with his runs.

            The contradiction, people calling Leao lazy but don’t appreciate Pulisic’s diligence.

        3. I think Pioli was happy with the point actually. We really don’t need every win right now. What we need this season is third or fourth place. I want every win just like you but looking at it today I feel one point was enough and I think Pioli didn’t want to open up to much to allow Atalanta to counter attack as we all know how danferous they van be. Going into the game I would’ve been happy with one point given how good Atalanta has been and how unsolid our defence have been. Seeing how the game played out I think we deserved the win. We were just better and dominated the game and Atalanta we just defending. That’s why the defenders need to roll the ball around at the back – to open up space. But I think our midfield are the biggest problem right now. Thay just can’t open up space like needed. Reijnders from a couple of months ago would have been good to have. But he’s fallen back a bit since his suspension.

          1. True. It was REALLY important not to lose to direct competitor who is just below us. A loss would have been a disaster. But still… I got really annoying in the last minutes as Milan were only focusing on securing the point instead of trying to win all 3. “Not my Milan”-kind of moments…

          2. 100% re not needing to win. My main comment to this article was basically about this aspect, but for some reason it did not post. We played a good game and were unlucky not to win, but the draw is good enough for this 6 pointer. Atalanta is entering a brutal stretch of games were they play us, Inter, Bologna, Juventus, Fiorentina and Napoli, so I think they will drop points. Of course, we need to make sure we pick up ours.

        1. Accept the possibility that as much as other people make you angry or frustrated, YOUR comments may have the same effect on others on here.

          Except no one is threatening you. BUT you Will get called out on your sh*t.

          1. Yes, your comments make me angry all the time. You never give analysis for Rennes game. We ask you so many times. You only say the article tell us.

          2. @ACM1899, MY comment doesn’t insult any personality in here. You insult people, I write my opinion about team Performance or Pioli’s tactics. These aren’t the same.
            If you don’t like my opinion, feel free to disagree and write yours BUT WITHOUT INSULTS.
            Do you understand?

    1. If the comments on this thread make you uncomfortable or angry, then you need to distance yourself from this site, Mira. Instead of threatening them.

      1. I don’t have any problem about COMMENTS. I have a problem with insults.
        You comfortably insult people online when they say some opinion that YOU DON’T LIKE.

        Explain your thoughts without insult like an adult and I respect you, no problem with that.

        But insult people and call them with names, that’s the problem.

        You know you can’t talk like that in face-to-face, right?

        This website should have some filter like Instagram has.

        Whenever somebody insults, comment will be automatically deleted or people will have option to report that user and their comment

  2. There is something Pioli could do better.
    Reijnders and Musah should enter much earlier.
    Okafor on right wing? – No.

    Giroud was bad, unfortunately no backup for him.

    Pioli couldn’t affect the result but could make some chess moves.

  3. Good performance, deserved to win.
    Atalanta were surprisingly poor but I thought Milan did well to control the game.
    Just a lot of poor final balls and shots
    Still it’s good to see them dominate a game.
    Big part of that was Adli tonight, great performance!
    I’m also enjoying Musah, he’s a talented guy.

    Great to see Leao score that class goal, will do him the world of good, after he scored he was really hungry

    Thiaw also did very well, he needed that too

    1. Adli had a hard time with the last pass or cross, he did so well, if he just connected a couple more key passes I think we’d have a few goals. He did well, but some spots, he just couldn’t nail down the crucial pass. good performance still from him

  4. First game this season, or at least in several months, where you can say that Milan outplayed, dominated a good team and was unlucky not to take the 3 points. There was only 1 team on the pitch, Atalanta didn’t show up.
    Leao’s best game this season. He was great throughout the game. He even scored. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another half a season for his next goal.
    Adli best game in Milan’s jersey.
    Gabbia outstanding again, as was Thiaw too.
    Poor game by Pulisic, RLC and Bennacer. Especially Bennacer. I didn’t even know he was on the pitch until the sub and in 10 minutes Musah did more than RLC and Bennacer did combined the whole game. The kid needs to get more playing time in his proper position not as a full back or wing back.
    Kudos to Pioli for realizing that Florenzi was about to be cooked by Lookman and subing him off for Calabria.
    Giroud received zero service.
    When it comes to the penalty. This is how penalties are called in this era. Milan has benefited on many occasions in such situations. Last season vs Sampdoria, in a game where Milan was playing with a man down, result 1-1, Milan was awarded a penalty that they needed a microscope to see it. Without that penalty Milan is short 2 points, at least, and finishes the season behind Juventus even with the point deduction. Many other examples over the last few years.
    Unless you are upset by the way soft penalties are called when they are awarded for Milan don’t come out crying and whining when they are awarded against Milan. Keep that same energy.
    Satisfied with the performance, shame for the result. Let’s see if it was just a one off, or it is a preview of a strong finish of the season by the team.

    1. “First game this season, or at least in several months, where you can say that Milan outplayed, dominated a good team and was unlucky not to take the 3 points. There was only 1 team on the pitch, Atalanta didn’t show up.”

      The first Napoli match was the same. Napoli was completetly out-classed for over an hour – if not more – and it should have been 3-0 or 4-0 after first half already yet it somehow ended 2-2.

  5. Puuuff what a goal by Leao. Ooh I wish he was this good on atleast 70-90% of the games.

    We more or less owned Atalanta and was it not for Orsato we would have a win in the bag.

  6. Leao is starting to make things happen again. Loved his goal celebration snipe at the media.
    This guy consistently underrates Pulisic unless like last week Pulisic FORCES him to swallow the bitter pill of having to give him a good rating. Pulisic was extremely active all game, achieving smart corner kicks, making RUN after dangerous RUN and pressing the action. The angle on the missed goal would have been pretty miraculous if he had made it. I knew once Pulisic stumbled one time early in the game that this guy would latch onto it as his excuse this week to underrate him. Bias confirmed. Other players can make mistakes without it affecting their ratings: Leao’s bad passes, Hernandez repeatedly going for the killer goal from too far out. Etc.

    1. yah cp11 was decent, he was open Alot. Looks like Piolo prefers Bennecer and RLC to be the counter attackers tho. he had a solid 6 rating game. CP11 won alot of free Kicks and Corners. thats nothing to Scuff at. The Deadball Deliveries were Terrible, Did any shots come from them?

  7. I swear to God this crap doesn’t happen to Inter week in week out. We completely outplayed Atalanta but that’s obviously not enough these days. Holm gets tapped on the shoulder, flops to the ground holding his head, we get yet another dodgy pen awarded against us and they get on the bus happy to have stolen a point.

    As I’ve said before on here, this Milan side has to beat two opponents every game: the other team and VAR. Some fans still call our scudetto win “lucky” – somehow forgetting that we should’ve won it by about 12 points if he hadn’t been for all the ridiculous refereeing decisions.

    And why can’t these commentators shut up about CDK? I was getting deja vu watching his lost sheep on the side of a cliff performance, and they keep droning on about him like he’s Ronaldinho.

    But apart from the bs it was a great performance from the boys, they gave it their all. Gabbia, Theo, Florenzi were solid at the back. Adli was fantastic – breaking up so many Atalanta plays and his vision was on point again tonight. Giroud, Cheek and Pulisic didn’t stop working, trying to make things happen and Leao shut up the haters once again with one of the best goals of his career. Just a pity it wasn’t the winner…thanks to VAR.

    1. I agree with you. A lot of shady decisions have gone against us of late. But the boys put on a fantastic performance. Sucks about the finishing but we were on Atalanta like white on rice.

      The CDK narrative is old but predictable. Just like any time we play a team with our loanees it gets constantly brought up. It’s just whatever.

      Atalanta didn’t look dangerous at all even after their Nigerian hit man came on. Couldn’t even tell Scamacca had come on.

      Adli had a great game although I was surprised that he played as the 6 and Bennacer pushed up so much.

      1. Yeh I was worried about Lookman vs Thiaw but he was pretty ineffective. (That tussle with Theo was quite amusing.) Think he was being instructed to not push forward – Gasp was just happy to nick a point.

    2. Agree with nearly all of that including the CDK comment.

      The media are just disingenuous when it comes to CDK since he’s one of thousands of first team players who have passed through our ranks in the past 10 years.

      When I criticise the CDK situation it’s in the context of my criticisms of every aspect of the modern transfer system. He’s probably not even the best example. Acerbi and Darmian are probably the best examples given they play for Inter!

      As for Gabbia, this is what happens when a club backs a player (or is forced to).

      1. Yep I never understood the Darmian situation. Acerbi I understood at the time, though, because he was pretty poor for us let’s be honest.

  8. To the guy who recently said we don’t have a goal scoring problem, might I sway you to watch this match? We desperately need better finishing if we want to compete for trophies. But of course, that will also come down to Mister refusing to shake his defensive ways… *sigh

    1. I’m one of those guys. So there was one game we only managed a single goal. You can’t judge an attack on a single game. We’re still….the second highest scoring side in the division.

    2. I guess that means me based on the indirect/subliminal.
      Sorry, this match doesn’t sway me to think we have a goal scoring problem. Answer me this, was the result today due to a lack of scoring by us or poor defending? We scored, right ?…once more. So no, we still don’t have a goal scoring problem. Giroud should have never did what he did given his experience. This is part and parcel of the whole defending issue. If our defending hadn’t failed us today, we’d be walking home easily with 3 points. Why do we have to try to score 2 goals or more in order to win a match? Matter of fact that would indicate an issue with leaking goals, wouldn’t it? 1 goal should do and 1 goal today should have done the trick. Don’t confuse us needing to score more goals than we already scored because our defence can’t close it’s legs with having a problem scoring.
      We have scored the second most goals in the whole league this season. How is that a goal scoring issue??? We’re scoring more than than our Scudetto season and almost matching 2020-21 when we were as prolific. It’s not the issue. We can score.
      Maybe you should look at the abysmal mid table defensive record we have. More than half of teams in Serie A are better than us at defending..lemme repeat….MORE THAN 10 teams are BETTER than us at defending. Half of the league. And that my friend is called a defensive problem. Glad you brought up trophies because the last 5 or so Scudettos, bar Juve, came from the team with the least goals conceded, not necessarily the most goals scored.

      1. How do you explain the penalty?

        Giroud is a World Cup winner. If you can’t rely on a World Cup winner to not make mistakes who can you rely on?

        Here’s a theory – football (and life) largely comes down to luck and currently Milan are experiencing a great deal of bad luck. All the theorising misses this crucial point.

        We just can’t seem to get a break this season.

        Now the only thing I’d temper that comment with (as is my bias) is to say because luck plays such a big role, we need to be careful about constantly changing things up including because we won’t know how much a factor luck played.

        For example was our title winning side really a title winning side?

        Luck played a part (as it does in everything in the universe e.g. see the Big Bang to me writing this comment) but was or 25%? 50%? 75% 90%?

        We simply don’t know.

        And because we don’t know, sheer lack of knowledge forces us to speculate about things we can never know. Like whether or not there’s a god and if Gabbia is a good defender.

        Or it could be as simple as signing a DM…..

        1. It’s hard trying to figure out what you’re saying. First of all my original point was that we don’t have a goal scoring issue OVERALL but a defensive issue. And showed stats to prove it.
          You’re theorising that we had bad luck? In this game or overall? I’d argue neither. Kicking someone in their chest in the penalty area isn’t bad luck. It’s naivety and Stu.pidity. Overall though in the course of a season, good luck evens out bad luck. Mid-table level of defence isn’t bad luck, that’s what we are at this point at more than half way through the season.

        2. I thought the Big Bang violated the first rule of thermodynamics and has been put under increasing scrutiny for at least ten years.

          God is real and he is everywhere its easy to see. Just because we cannot see something doesn’t mean we don’t know. We know how hot earth’s core is but we have never been there. Even Nicetzsche knew God was real. But if you want to believe that all the ancient writers mistake God for aliens you can believe that too.

          For the penalty Giroud like the rest of the team has lost concentration and when that happens we get mistakes like that. It’s not new this season and not only Giroud.

          1. Your friend bring god up first so tell him kindly. Thank you for policing comment section. Maybe you get rid of angry mean people.

    3. I think it was meant at me since I’ve recently said that, so I’ll answer.
      Yes, I reiterate that we don’t have a goal scoring problem, we have scored in 22 games in a row, and have the second best attack behind Inter, and yes we still do have a defensive problem, this is the 11th game this season that we either draw or lose despite scoring at least once. I won’t mind having a deadlier finish, but this is not the most urgent problem.
      Yes, we lacked finish yesterday and would have won if either Giroud, Pulisic and RLC have converted their actions but those games happen. Yes, RLC is not a creative AM, many have complained about that.
      If I can add anything, we definetly need to work on set pieces, because of the number of fools near the penalty box that we’ve won, coupled with the number of corner kicks, it’s abnormal to not have scored once from one of those.

  9. Even without the goal, Leao is easily MOTM. I’m neither here nor there with whether or not to keep him or the whole brouhaha on this site but I can definitely say he’s still the driving force in attack whether you like it or not. Him driving the attack is different from Puli. He’s clearly able to do things no other attacker can do. One of his best displays for us this season. Stats-wise, over the season, no one comes close to his importance in creating chances.
    Btw Gabbia was immense as always. Glad Thiaw kept it tidy. Puli tried. Giroud needs to show experience. The guys did well overall and we’re just unlucky not to get a goal in. Bad display from Atalanta who went full Juve the whole game while we only went Juve first half. Btw Another stellar display by RLC lol 😂 /s. Sorry my bad, I’m a month off.

  10. I thought Boxing Day was after Christmas. I haven’t seen so many defenders stationed in a box as I did see from Atatlanta today. For being an attacking side they played like a low table team, but I guess it got them a point.

    Mike must be shell shocked with all the PKs we give up. Other then that a good performance but he really wasn’t trouble tonight.

    The backline was good on Atalanta’s long balls, no real slip ups so great job by them. Gabbia on the other hand, took a shoot in the balls and was a true gladiator just to remain in the match. I thought Theo played much better than his rating. He got forward a lot and looked very dangerous so not sure on his rating. Thiaw looked better tonight. He really did not have much to do but he didn’t screw up so that’s a step in a positive direction. Flo, again did not do anything wrong but nothing to really get us going either so a basic game for him.

    The middle did not really get challenged that much compared to the other matches we have played against this team so a mystery why they backed off. Bennacer did not look good tonight. His passing were off and going forward did nothing for us. RLC had a rough game not knowing where to go or what to do. He had a few good sequences playoff his teammates but that miss fire sums up his night. Adli looked good tonight. He made loads of passes to cutting players. He utilized his skill set well tonight.

    The front line was stifled tonight by a keeper on his mark and a defense looking to get out alive. Leao was very good tonight, only he could have pulled off that goal. He set his teammates up but they could not covert. I sometimes question Leao’s decision making but with his passes ending up with nothing it should not be a surprise when we see he goes at it alone. Giroud had a few good chances but nothing hit the back of the net and that penalty cost us dearly. Pulisic was not very involved in the first half and that turnover was uncharacteristic but he came alive in the second and looked close to getting a goal. I question the sub since I feel he was more likely to find the goal than the subs that came on.

    The subs came on and the game went on and then ended, that’s what the subs gave us. Musah pushed forward a few times that looked dangerous but he then quickly turned the ball over or passed the ball off to someone not in position to attack. He and RLC seem to both have that quality. Okafor did not do anything of note but to be fair he did not get much time on the pitch.

    Pioli was a mixed. Playing Adli was the right decision and Leao and Theo were doing their thing so Pioli has those two playing like we remember. That’s the good. I don’t like what is happening on the right wing. Bennacer should not be sprinting into space that Pulisic should be occupying I get its a match up advantage but Benny hasn’t shown he can capitalize on the mismatch. I like Flo and he can pass from deep in our zone and the corners are decent but that’s about it. I know Calabria is just coming back from injury and he is not an offensive upgrade but defensively we will get a but better. And finally another Pen, this is the most reckless team I have seen in a long time. We are shown red or giving away penalty so often I can’t remember how many are on our books. That’s has never happened to me better.

  11. Pioli defend favor is in speed (fast CB), and that’s just don’t work in Serie A, Nesta Maldini Stamp/ Billy isn’t that fast, Bonucci Barzagli Chiellini & now DeVrij Acerbi Bastoni, they are the best combi defenders in their days, all of them not fast. even our best perform CB atm is the slowest duo (Gabbia & Kjaer).
    i’d say if PL come w/ big $ for Tomori, take it. PSG/ else want Kalulu, Bayern/ else want Thiaw, take it w/ right price. then go all out for Scalvini & Buongi, we’ve Gabbia, Simic & (1of) Kjaer/ Thiaw/ Kalulu as rotation.

  12. Harsh rating for Puli. Being critical of the ‘mistake’ is a stretch; he slipped and no damage was done. The big chance he did not convert was not a easy play – RLC’s was much worse of a miss. I think a 6 was minimum.

      1. Apparently chuk has been goofing off. Pioli called him out in the press conference before the game. That’s never good, when a coach publicly calls a player out.

  13. If there was a score for the refs, it would be 0. That wasnt a dangerous play by any means. Inexistant penalty. Best milan ive seen in a while. Adli was obsolutly a beast tonight. Great direct passes and covered that defense very very well tonight. Frankly, that’s what this team needs the most, a proper dm. Idk if Adli can bring this kind of performance every game but i hope he does. We are 2nd best scoring team in the league. It’s the conceding part that is a problem. Leao great tonight, really tried, moved and scored. Ben and cheek were kimd of poor tonight, sort of lost. Obsolutly dominated atalanta. They mostly parked the bus the entire game. A little more movement inside of the box would have been even better. If we keep this kind of performance for the rest of the season, we’ll be in a great shape. Again, the ref and var team, need a vacation. True losers tonight.

      1. Inter and Juve get calls against them, stop exaggerating. Their defenders are much better than ours and don’t make rash decisions, that’s why they don’t give up as many penalties.

        1. Yep Inter and Juve get calls against them but how many dodgy ones? If there’s a website out there that tallies up how many nonsensical decisions have gone for/against each team I’d love to see where we stand compared to them.

  14. I have a dream that one day in the future, before the sun completely burns out and the world ends, that I will see Maignan save a penalty…just once.
    He gets so much practice you would think he’d be better at it.

    Other than that it was a good performance Milan were the better team and Pioli totally out coached Gasperini.

  15. I feel despite Puli adding something dangerous on the right, the lack of a playmaking right back is holding this team down. The combinations on the left can be breathtaking when Leao and Theo are both on their game. But on the right it is either Pulisic creating on his own, or Pulisic cutting to the middle to find Giroud who knows how to creatively pass.
    Also RLC…pass sooner! When he needs to one touch he takes a dribble, when he pushes up the field he invariably hits traffic before he looks to pass. When Milan are on the break get the ball off your feet and get in the box. It is frustrating to see someone with his talent dribbling with his head down. I wish Chuk would develop because I would love to see Pulisic play RLC’s role.
    Pioli has his horses back. So I want to see more attack minded midfield play as they now have better protection behind them.

  16. Orsato the MOTM.

    Anyway it was an overload display from our lads, they really made Atalata look like a relegation fighting team. Gabbia, Thiaw, Florenzi, Adli, Bennacer, Leao, Puli were the pillars last night. Unfortunately not enough.

    But one thing frustrates me – it seems Pioli knows how to set this team to be vertical threat and can dominate the field. Why on earth he does it only when his pants are caught on fire?! If he played every match like this, he wouldn’t even be in this mess!

  17. Wow that feud in the early comments was as bizarre as Thiaw’s defending v Monza. Anyway on to the match.

    I thought we played quite well without luck. Definitely Adli’s been game for Milan. He was everywhere in the first half.

    That penalty is a complete joke. I agree with Pioli’s comments. Maybe there is some slight contact but it was not even close to his face. If a player totally overreacts like that. Clearly with the intention of fooling the officials. There should be no penalty and the player acting should be given a yellow. If there is no negative consequence then they will keep cheating.

    Great to see Thiaw bounce back with a solid game.

  18. Good bounce back after Monza. For me, the Serie A season has been over for a while. The goal is to find the best system and players for next season, get the long term absentees up to speed again, and possibly give more minutes to youth team players. Our midfielders still don’t have defined roles and it has affected our play all season. It’s easy to blame Pioli for that but it seems to me that the players are just incompatible with each other. Signing center backs and strikers will not fix this. Big decisions will have to be made in midfield. There is also the uncertainty of Jovic, Okafor, and Chukwueze that the club need to figure out next season.

    1. Agree.

      The lack of compatibility is the risk with the transfer market and why the majority of transfers fail (as in players don’t preform at the same or higher level at their new club).

      Of our 10 or whatever new signings how many have worked?

      Generously Reijnders, RLC, and Pulisic – a 33% success rate.

      Oh and Gabbia who was an accidental re-signing.

      Now maybe more will be successful if they stick around long enough. Adli’s now a success and CDK a success for Atalanta (joking).

      But the point is we can shuffle all we like but we may never find the right compatibility. And if we do find the right compatibility well that’s usually a good time to stop shuffling.

    2. I totally agree about using the rest of the season to hone our playing style and personnel.
      A positive finish to the season would be to see some quality fluid play and some exciting youngsters getting blooded.
      Eletu looks a huge talent at DM, hope he gets some minutes

  19. Hard to blame the manager? 😂 seriously the very definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result! We have an inability to kill games off and have no real incisive threat. It’s all well and good having loads of the ball but if you just pass it sideways around the box and then go back to Mike it’s all for nothing: Adli was the only one trying to make those incisive passes.

    It was obvious this wasn’t a game for Giroud so Okafor should have had at least 30mins as CF. No one player played badly, it’s just the tactics. Thiaw made a good come back after his nightmare, Gabbia excellent as usual, Adli and Rafa were the standouts.

    Pioli has reached his ceiling

    1. Come back with the stats of the match, like shots on target, chances created and expected goals; and tell me those are the stats of a team that was passing sideways and backwards.

      1. Well I watched the match with my EYES did you? Or did you read the stats afterwards? we spend so much time in and around the penalty box with no penetration. The argument defeats itself. We dominated the game but scored one goal! Perhaps that’s good enough for you, but it isn’t for me. The danger with that is that one silly mistake and the opposition wind up with a penalty and from a position of dominance you are back at 1-1….oh and that’s what happened.

        There was one instance when Rafa passed all the way back to Mike from the left wing position, about 40 yards….😂. only Adli tried incisive passes and was unlucky with a couple to Bennacer running into the box. Rafa again put in some great balls which nobody was attacking.

        From a position of 1-0 up after 3 minutes you have to build in that and go in for the kill. What we seek to do is dominant with some nicey nicey easy on the eye football that doesn’t really do anything.

        There have been loads of games this season where we have failed to kill the games off when we should,

    2. I don’t agree it was tactics if we dominated Atalanta for 95 min and were forced to score AGAIN because Atalanta got a dodgy pen. If we’d won 1-0 would you be here complaining?

      1. Yes I would…you can’t assume 1-0 is enough and blame the dodgy penalty. Dodgy penalties happen all the time. If you think the philosophy of going into a football match is dependent on whether a dodgy penalty is given against us is worrying.

        1-0 up after 3 mins at San Siro…would Carlo, Capello or Sacchi’s Milan end up 1-1…if we can’t find a second or third goal then it’s a concern

        Possession doesn’t win football matches, goals do. It’s a very simple formula.

  20. This is one of those games (which were rare this season to be honest) which can be called “unlucky”. Aside from the penalty, Atalanta didn’t really show much yesterday, especially during the second half. They might have already settled for 1 point by then, but according the commentary from the channel I watched, Gasperini was unhappy with his block so low and his players losing duels.
    Hard to blame on Pioli for this one, as his team did what it was supposed to do and the penalty and inability to come back came from individual small details.
    Midfield wise, the only notable player was Adli, he was enormous yesterday both on the defensive phase and the offensive phase. I think he, alongside Leao were the only players who tried to play a line-breaking pass. Bennacer moved a lot but is clearly far from his best, and RLC, as said previously, when he doesn’t score he seems quite transparent.
    There is not a lot to be said about the defense, I think they handled their game pretty well. I was especially happy for Thiaw who needed to make a comeback after the Monza game. It seems we can’t stop conceiding penalties, and the last one, call it harsh or what you want, but Giroud definelty touched Holm and in this era where an offside can be called by a centimeter, these penalties can happen.
    Pulisic was good yesterday, despite the mistake that could have costed us and the missed opportunity, Giroud didn’t get served very well and Leao was ENORMOUS (figuratively he is still the same size). Aside from the goal and the daring passes, he was a poison to the Atalanta players who had no idea how to deal with him. He can be unstable sometimes and a bit lazy, but when he is on his day, Leao is a class above, period.
    Yesterday’s gameplan seems to be based around the fullbacks/wingers crosses to the box and for Adli to find a good pass, which I think shows you how wasteful it is to put a player like RLC as an AM which should be reserved for a more creative player.
    And finally, set pieces. We had many of those yesterday and didn’t make use of a single one.

    1. I agree about RLC, he has a rare good game when he scores. But that’s not really his main job.
      Don’t get me wrong any player who does their job well and chips in with goals is welcome..
      Hes just not good enough as AM. Pulisic always looks to go central and has the skill set to be top class there.
      So i guess its the old problem of having no right wing
      What do you do with Chucky? Hes not young enough to be attractive to teams like Atalanta who want to make profit developing players.
      Maybe some epl team or Saudi would give us some money back

      1. For Chuk I’m willing to be patient and give him till next season, unless for some reason we get a lot of money of him this summer.
        I agree Pulisic can do wonders as an AM. Perhaps if Thiago Motta becomes our next coach, we should consider Zirkzee as a striker and Orsolini as a right winger. The coach knows both players and they’re used to play with each other. But we’re not there yet.

        1. Yeah Orsolini is maturing well.

          Not sure about Zirkzee as a striker, good player but prob more of a second striker / AM
          A ruthless finisher is what we need.

          Chucky needs to show something before seasons end, hes no kid. Unfortunately i just don’t think he’s good enough too 1 dimensional and even that dimension has been poor

  21. Yes rafeol leao what a player what a performance from him ,,,a real concern for me is loftus cheek ,,he seems to be playing as a centre forward…This is off putting for Olivier Giroud to know where to be at the right moments ,,as yes Olivier was well of key ,,,but he needs service ,,,not just hopeful balls int the box .
    Aldi had a great match ,,,he needs to play much more .
    All that said we should have still won this game ,,the penalty given never was .pulisic worked very hard as usual,,as did Theo Hernandez..
    Any how we can still finish second in the league..
    Can we win the Europa cup …fans I love your comments .what do you think ..imagine even reaching the final …can we ?

    1. “Can we win the Europa cup …fans I love your comments .what do you think ..imagine even reaching the final …can we ?”
      I don’t like to be the pessimistic one here, so I’ll just say it like this: we are not favourites to win the Europa League. Liverpool, Leverkusen are in it and despite yesterday’s performance, we are still unable to win even once against Atalanta this season, despite playing twice in San Siro.

    2. We can reach final if we avoid Liverpool and Leverkusen.
      2 legs against them be very tough but in a final anything is possible
      It has to be the aim anyway

  22. The problem for me is this balata the Jekyll and Hyde. We are at times fantastic, we play lovely football, but Atalanta were there for the taking. They are a good side, have some excellent players, but they weren’t good last night, we should have gone in like a predator for the kill.

    On our day we can win the Europa League. I don’t think we best Liverpool over two legs, but in a one off final our left side can kill anyone. Add to that RLC, Pulisic and Bennacer and we have a good chance. On the flip side we could go out to Brighton….(that game is so gonna happen too because of De Zerbi)

    When you have the chance you have to kill opponents off. With Maldini, Baresi, Billy, Mauro, Nesta, Cafu I’d have fancied us to hold 1-0 against anyone, but not now.

    So much is good about this Milan, but then seven days go by and we are poor again. There’s a clear consistency problem and also a ruthlessness one.

    I don’t see why Pioli didn’t address CF. It wasn’t a game for Giroud, I’m a huge fan of his but he was getting nothing and we should have introduced a more mobile striker like Okafor.

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