Player Ratings: AC Milan 3-0 Rennes – Loftus-Cheek dominance; Leao impresses

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan sealed a rather comfortable 3-0 win in the first leg against Stade Rennes and will thus be heading into the second one in a great position. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the big hero for the Rossoneri and below are the player ratings. 

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 forced into action on more than one occasion tonight but most of them were quite comfortable saves, it must be said. Still, good to keep them out and also keep another clean sheet.

Florenzi (6.5): The veteran showed his main strength with that assist for Loftus-Cheek and continued to do well after that. He could have been more convincing at the back, but it was certainly a good evening for him.

Kjaer (6.5): Much better compared to the Napoli game, actually using his great passing (as seen on Leao’s first chance) and relying on smart positioning at the back. Sure, he had one or two sloppy moments but was overall very solid indeed.

Gabbia (6.5): It was another good display from the Italian and the ability to follow his man, and often win the ball as a result, remains key for Milan.

Hernandez (7): The Frenchman was important for Milan especially in the build-up phase, which was seen above all when he drifted into the centre. He also got the assist for Leao’s great strike with a nice cut-back, and sent the corner in that Loftus-Cheek eventually converted.

Musah (6): He covered a lot of ground tonight and also showcased his attacking abilities towards the end of the game. However, he missed a great chance at the start of the game that he really should have done better with, hence the lowered rating (but still a pass).

Reijnders (6): The feeling is that the Dutchman could have been even more involved, lacking impact especially in the first half. He recovered in the final 45 minutes and certainly deserves a pass here, but we all know that he can play a bigger role for Milan.

Pulisic (6): A very unconvincing first half from the American, struggling with his touches, but he improved in the second half and ended up creating a few good chances. It was a shame that the final touch was missing, though.

Loftus-Cheek (8 – MOTM): What a performance from the Englishman, not just bagging two great goals but also putting Rennes in constant trouble with his physique. He always seemed to find the right space to run into as well, and his teammates deserve credit for picking him out. You can’t ask for much more than this.

Leao (7.5): He was bright from the start, hitting the bar early on after a great first touch, and continued to create chances after that. He actually had some decent crosses too, but the main highlight was obviously the goal. A great backheel to set up Theo and then finish. Hopefully, he can find the goal against Monza at the weekend as well.

Giroud (5.5): Not a great evening for the veteran, combining well on a few occasions but mostly ending up in the way of his teammates. We saw it on a couple of crosses and a few counter-attacks as well. He can certainly do better.


Thiaw (6): It was really nice to see the German back on the pitch and he had a couple of good interventions as well.

Okafor (6): He was incredibly unlucky not to get a goal, doing everything right before having his shot blocked on the line.

Bennacer (6): A possession-comfortable display as you would expect from the Algerian and a good free-kick attempt that almost resulted in glory.

Terracciano (6): He did what was needed from him, not making any mistakes this time out.

Adli (N/A): He didn’t play enough to get a rating.

The manager

Pioli (7): He got almost everything right tonight, eventually telling Theo to drift inside instead of sitting back too much in the build-up phase. He has really been proven right with the ‘Loftus-Cheek needs to get into the box more often’ quote as well. And the subs were good, considering the tight schedule.

Tags AC Milan AC Milan Player Ratings Rafael Leao Ruben Loftus-Cheek Stade Rennes


      1. Agree, Bellingham is generational talent. But Ruben should at least receive a call for National Team based on his recent performance. Knowing Southgate though, it is hard enough to displace Maguire.

  1. This was a good win. With a bit of luck (especially with the crossbar by Rafa and the blocked shot on the line for Okafor), we could have won 5-0.

    L-C is so irregular: He alternates from MOTM to worst player on the pitch. Today was one of his MOTM days.

    Rafa, what a display tonight, enough to silence his critics (but of course they won’t be silenced; there is always someone bashing Rafa and failing to understand that even though he is scoring less often, he is creating more opportunities for his companions, this season).

    All players got at least a pass, and many did very well. I particularly liked Florenzi tonight and I think he’s been clearly better than Calabria who is more of a liability than an asset,

      1. What the hell are you talking about??? With this post above, I was expressing my independent opinion, not responding to anybody.

    1. “L-C is so irregular: He alternates from MOTM to worst player on the pitch. Today was one of his MOTM days.”
      It has a lot to do with him scoring or not.
      My man is strong and has a good pace and is a good ball winner, however creativity wise there are many players in the team who are above him. I won’t say his passes are bad, but not that good for a creative midfielder.
      He does also have a good sense for goals, and in football, whatever your position is, if you score goals, you’re automatically better.
      I’d say if he manages to keep himself healthy, we can we got a very useful player for the next years.

  2. Strong performance from the team. RLC shows up big again. It’s amazing some people on here still want to criticize him…I guess because new signings are bad??
    Florenzi has 100% earned the starting spot this season. He has been better than Calabria. That cross he delivered on the first goal is something Calabria just doesn’t have in his arsenal. And he’s been solid defensively as well. Lucky to have him.
    I also want give Kjaer some love as he gets enough hate on here. He may not be the best 1v1 anymore but he organizes the defense and they play better when he is in there. He’s also our best passing CB and delivered a great ball to Leao that almost led to a goal.
    Finally, let’s give Pioli some credit. He has the team playing well through all of the injuries and they seem to be getting stronger as the season goes on.
    Dare I say Pioli’s on fire…

    1. I wouldn’t say pioli on fire lol but this is his problem for every season. He always has a month or two of really bad results and reverts back to the old style which is a 4 2 3 1 with theo and leao more involved and suddenly were back to winning ways. We need that consistency more than anything. Tonight, everyone deserves their praise. They played well and looked to get more and more. Just need to find that consistency.

      Florenzi deserves that contract extension. Whether he starts or is a sub he is a leader on this team and he is brilliant. Even last game against napoli how he wasted time with Juan Jesus. The way he displays himself and gives his all is something to admire. Keep it up guys!

    2. For Ruben It look like its just about confidence, you can see it every game he gets a goal he is a completely different player, all of a sudden he goes from holding his head down to a box to box player like he gets a injection of adrenaline. Hopefully with support from the club and fans he can shake it of and become more consistent even in games he isn’t contributing to goals. There is been many years for him being in a underperforming chelsea side and all the injuries on top of it.

  3. So to summarize… we got a Chelsea reject who’s always injured, a left winger who’s lazy and doesn’t know what to do in the final third, and a clueless coach who needs to be sacked asap. Okay, got it 👌

    1. Now imagine we had stopped at those players and kept Tonali (and who let’s imagine wasn’t banned).

      There’s lots to imagine…but the point is the signings were fine it was just the number and the completely unnecessary overhaul (they even got rid of the revenue guy!).

      Let’s hope that’s the last revolution for a while, and this summer we can focus on key signings.

      (I fear we’ll sell Leao for 200 billion and then spend 300 billion on 3 replacements for him).

      1. I’d rather we keep Leao too and add a DM and ST for starters. If Pioli keeps the pressure on Inter and goes deep in the Europa they’ll keep him. I won’t start crying if they do because if we sort out the injury issues we could do some damage next season. The problem is – how many of the injuries are down to Pioli and his buddy Osti? Some would say all of them, but we’ve been the most affected team out of the top five by injuries for years before the bald one arrived. They’ve definitely gotten worse though – no thanks to the Alice in Wonderland scheduling.

        1. We absolutely need to get injuries down if we are to be competitive but injuries, the endless revolutions, and selling of key stars have been going on now for 15 seasons now.

          Milan have broken numerous players over the years from Pato to De Sciglio to El Shaaraway to Bonaventura. What’s noticeable about so many of these players is their injuries went away after they left Milan.

          The big difference in the past 4 seasons has been Pioli.

          He’s our first decent manager since Allegri, and he has provided the only real consistency.

          Getting rid of Pioli this summer will involve more upheaval, and then it’s a punt on whoever replaces him – they could be awesome or they could be another Giampaolo.

      2. As long as we are playing fantasy land, let’s imagine that Pirlo was still here, and maybe Kessie was back as well. Don’t be silly. We have the good new signings because we sold Tonali who by the way is not the great talent that you like to believe he is, and if we hadn’t sold him and brought in all the depth the team would’ve been completely screwed when Tonali got suspended and would probably be bottom table right now. Tonali cared more about gambling than Milan. Get over it.

        1. How is it fantasy land to imagine a situation where we didn’t force a player out of the club for no reason and then spent more money resulting in a net loss???

          Pirlo was a mistake because I think we could’ve been convinced to stay.. Kessie was not because he’s a dirty filthy mercenary.

          But the big picture here is for 15 years we have lacked stability and in that time we have fallen out of the top clubs in Europe.

          If we do the same this summer – sell Leao and buy 15 players – then the rot will continue.

          1. Stop making things up. Tonali wasn’t forced out. When he saw that he could play for a top EPL club for triple money, he was gone. And then we found out he was also an idiot who gambled on matches. I don’t know if anyone at Milan knew about that but good move for us either way.

          2. A) He wasn’t forced, he could have refused.
            B) Newcastle offered way more than he was actually worth and it would have been foolish not to take it.
            He was overhyped because the Italian media desperately want a new Italian superstar but it ain’t him. He had already lost his starting spot at Newcastle by the time he was suspended for being a degenerate gambler. He’s gone and the team is better for it. Get over it. It’s so tired, the same old comment every time.

          3. @Gary @K maybe I liked him more as a player than you (and he was still young) but you’re right about him leaving – I distinctly remember hearing at the time that he talked to the geordies before he even talked to us.

      3. For Tonali . He need that huge salary from NU to pay his gamble debt, so it is not like he is forcing out, it is win win solution both for club and tonali.ACM cannot get yunus,RLC,Tiji if not selling tonali. Yes lets hope this season are last revolution. Next season ACM only need to buy key player if key player in squad asking for leave ACM like Giroud ( rumoured he want go to MLS so ACM need buy 1 striker) , Maignan ( his contract renewal seems complicated so maybe ACM need to prepare new GK if he leave ),Leao ( ACM cannot compete salary offer if PSG come with huge offer next season, so perhaps ACM need to buy new LW if leao leave)

    2. Lol it’s ok. It’s great to have RLC played a good 3rd or 4th game this season albeit we’re well past half way through the season. Hope to see you after the Monza game 😂The rest I agree with begrudgingly on account of username hahaha

      1. Right. 3rd or 4th game when he was the best player on the pitch. I guess if he doesn’t score two goals and win MOTM he isn’t any good. Like I said before you are going to look more and more foolish as the season goes on and it’s proving to be true. But by all means, keep hating on the new guys.

  4. My only concern player-wise is Pulisic. He has gone off the boil since the start of the year. Hopefully he can rediscover form soon. He basically carried us in November and December, so if others are picking up the slack his slump shouldn’t be a big deal.

      1. I suppose that’s the most games he consecutively played since Dortmund days. My guess is that he needs the explosive power to give him the edge. Fatigue took that edge and with that confidence plummeted.

        All in all the most important is that he is a real fighter and makes it up in important defensive work and recoveries.

    1. He’s tired and needs some rest, also needs to release his passes on time,holding on to the ball too much takes a lot of energy, hence his lack of productivity recently

    2. The play has shifted, and rightly so, to Leao’s side of the field. Just because the game doesn’t come to you doesn’t mean you are doing badly. People, and the morons in the media, get artificially concerned and act like there’s some sort of crisis when a player doesn’t score. Pulisic keeps teams honest and the trio Pioli is using is on an impressive win streak. The game will come back to Pulisic. It almost did today.

      1. I said gone off the boil, not crisis. It’s clear he has. He’s started every game for months. He just needs to be given a break now and then. Hopefully that will start to happen now that Chukwueze is back from AFCON. Same can be said for Rafa, who went off with muscle fatigue last night. Okafor has been unavailable, but he’s back now and should get some starts at LW.

        1. Some rest would help him, he has been working hard.
          i also think RLC is occupying the central are that Pulisic liked to drift into and scored several goals from. With Pulisic be asked to stay wide.
          When Chucky is back there is also the possibility of playing Pulisic at AM.
          It’s good to have options and switch things up

    3. To be fair he was in red hot form before. I had doubted be would have kept it up all season even though I wish he did. So maybe he’s in regular form lol. But he’ll figure it out. He also needs some rest. The bad part really is that he’s not effective as he once was even though they’ve been ganging up on Leao more than normal theae days (ie Puli should have more space to work with)

    4. Again, Stats do not tell the whole story !!! Pulisic work rate and runs off the ball is second to none !!! ( leao ? ) . Puli keep up the great work!! More people should actually watch players off the ball .

  5. The most professional accomplished performance I’ve seen from us in a long time. Leao was outstanding, this is the player I’ve wanted to see, the lack of goals isn’t a problem and never has been for me, all I’ve wanted to see is him carry the game, dominate it, have the opposition panic every time he gets the ball. The last 3-4 matches he’s been excellent. Some of the balls and crosses he pulls out the bag are mind blowing. He’s never gonna score like Mbappe but that’s why we have other options like Pulisic and Ruben. Ruben was outstanding.

    Musah looked tasty today too, I think once he comes into his own he’ll be an excellent box to box midfielder.

    Special mention to Theo and Florenzi, Mike also made some excellent saves when required:

  6. Good game all around and fair ratings.

    Hear something really interesting from the experts on viaplay about Leao, and I think many of us agree here on that.

    “On a good day he is up there with the top 10 attacking football players, the only thing missing in order to take the next step is consistency”

    I agree with that, same goes for RLC tbh and i truly hope that Leao takes the next step here rather than in another club cuz he makes shit look so easy…

    Nice and fun game to watch for once, i hope we can replicate this against tougher opponents.


    PS to admin, can you guys please do something about the comment system. It buggy AF

  7. Nice to enjoy a comfortable win!
    We controlled well, created chances and scored goals.
    Now it has to be said that Rennes were like a Rabbit in the head lights, frozen stiff. They will be better at home

    Best game RLC has had since PSG

    Stunning goal from the Theo/Leao combo, hopefully this helps Leao with his confidence in front of goal

    Musah was everywhere, always making himself available to team mates in possession. Great attitude.

    I am surprised Giroud played the full game again, he wasn’t involved much anyway.

    Enjoyable performance.

  8. Winning the Europa League needs to a priority for us. Let’s bring a Trophy home. It’s still one backed with 40 million euros too as a reward. (Correct me if I’m wrong)

    Watched the highlights and we look great. Do wish we would have had a fourth though. Jovic needs to play more.

  9. Woohoo!

    A nice, relaxing, solid win.

    One thing Pioli has done a lot over the years is play a more traditional midfielder (what you crazy kids call 6s and 8s) in an AM position. He did that with Kessie, Bennacer and now RLC.

    Whatever about it, it seems to work.

    RLC has been excellent even in games where he’s been crticised. The key thing to understand with him is he’s not playing in CM. His job is to make runs and break the line.

    He won’t always score and provide assists. But that doesn’t mean he’s had a bad game.

    Of the ball movement, and dragging players out of position, is a really important thing in football and RLC has done that job really well.

    The goals are a bonus but they shouldn’t be the focus.

    Also big, huge, enormous shout out again to Gabbia. He’s absolutely killing it out there.

    Call off the search. We have a CB. We have Thiaw, Tomori and Kalulu are now competing to play alongside him.

    It’s amazing the players that one of the biggest clubs on the planet can produce!

    1. Agreed on the counts of RLC & Gabbia.

      There are metrics beyond goals scored that many fail to grasp when evaluating performances.

    2. Yep, Gabbia keeps having very good games. I still think Kalulu should be considered a RB and that we still may need another CB to complete the department. CBs: Tomori, Thiaw, Gabbia, Simic, New CB. I feel like five is the number to have when using a formation that employs two. And no, Pellegrino doesn’t count. He’s not good. He was terrible in his minutes with us and basically singlehandedly lost Salernitana’s match against Empoli, being directly responsible for two goals. I just don’t believe he’s Milan calibre.

  10. We had 4:0 wins against RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League group stage last season and we made it to the semi-finals.

    We also outplayed Newcastle and were unlucky not to win, and of course beat PSG.

  11. Nice to see a commanding win and a clean sheet. Whomever said Pobega is better than Musah is out of his mind. Can’t wait to see how he progresses.

  12. I know there is all this love for Bennacer and Aldi, but today is how I want our midfield to play. Turning on players and breaking the lines. Did anyone notice how we had midfielders in the box today being threatening? The midfielders making runs into the channels. Oh, let’s not forget about Musah being all over the field on defense. But let’s knock him for missing a shot. Overall Musah and Reinjdeers are a more athletic and direct midfield than Bennacer and especially Aldi.

    1. They did well.

      It’ll be interesting to see what Pioli settles on.

      My bet is that it will be Reinjdeers and Bennacer as he seems to favour both.

      Musah was great and has been great but I fear he’ll be used as a utility player.

      I am never sure about Adli. I think I’d find frustrating to play with as he doesn’t move the ball quickly enough!

    2. Being spoilt for choice is what we want. I think you’re shading Benny because he’s been out for so long and is rusty, but we need his grittiness. I think I’m curious as to what a Bennacer-Musah combo would look like once Benny’s fully fit. It would also be interesting to try them in the double pivot AND have Reijnders pushed up into the RLC role. Again, it’s great to have choices and different possible combinations in the midfield three.

  13. I never understood all the criticism of Leao and his goal drought. He’s a key piece with or without goals. Everytime he has the ball, opposition are instructed to close down with two or three players and that opens up the space up front for the likes of Pulisic, Giroud, RLC to cook.

    Musah for me should be moulded in some form of Kante. He has the energy but I want to see him more in a breakup role in the midfield. He was not bad last night but Reijnders was often found alone in the mid with both RLC and Musah cooking in final third.

    All in all, I was a bit sceptical since Rennes are in form domestically, but Milan bossed the match. Hope they can keep up the momentum.

  14. Nice and solid win against an outmatched opposition.
    I won’t comment on every single player, I don’t think any player particularly played poorly yesterday and after 3-0 we clearly did relax as no further pushing was needed. Our defense was caught sleeping at times but Maignan was on a good day.
    The man is obviously Ruben Loftus Cheek who is already at 7+2 G+A this season. I complained a lot of him being mis-used as an attacking midfielder because of this lack of creativity, but man he is good inside the penalty box and has a sense for goals.
    Leao has finally found the back of the net and what a way to do so. Not that his performance was any bad lately, but he needs and did score more often.
    Theo went from barely any offensive contribution early this season to 4+7 G+A, which is already better than last season.
    A bit sad for Pulisic, I feel like in the second half he deserved to have a goal.
    I won’t analyze further, Rennes is not a strong team, and we did show yesterday the difference between the 2 sides.

  15. I know we won 3-0 but I liked how we defended in the sense that we got more compact and tighter later on in the match. However the midfield pivots are still a problem and a better team would expose them. Even a bewildered Terraciano had to fill in defensively for the pivots as they stray to far upfield or are just plainly out of position. However overall as a group I liked the group defence. We need more of this and less of the large spaces in midfield. RLC coming to help in the midfield for an effective 3-man midfield also helps. He should play more like this even at the cost of subbing early because his physical presence mattered in the middle

    1. “I know we won 3-0 but I liked how we defended in the sense that we got more compact and tighter later on in the match.”
      I felt like we were sometimes a bit asleep in the first half, but Rennes’ offensive power ain’t that great and Maignan was focused. Nevertheless, we didn’t conceide any goal, something which we don’t seem to do lately.
      For the rest I agree, something that works again Rennes won’t necessarly work against other teams and our double pivot is not very good at defending.
      I would have like to see RLC in the double pivot, I think defensively he and Bennacer are the best midfielders in this department, but with him scoring so much up front I think I can’t complain that much.

      1. True. I like the fact that RLC came into midfield and created more numbers there. He should do that more often. Like u said first half was iffy, second half we defended better, I liked the organization of defence in that half. I think we really should have put away the tie if we scored a 4th goal. Rennes is not that strong. They had players that were in demand 2-3 years back though like Gouiri, Bouregard

    2. “However the midfield pivots are still a problem and a better team would expose them. Even a bewildered Terraciano had to fill in defensively for the pivots as they stray to far upfield or are just plainly out of position. ”
      This is such a silly comment. It was part of the tactics to have Musah play further up the pitch to force their midfield deeper. Tactics designed for this specific game against this team, and they worked quite well. To say that wouldn’t have worked against a better team is pointless as the tactics would have been different against a different team.
      You may want to ask yourself if you are even really a Milan fan because all of your comments are negative. RLC has a great game and you have to put a negative remark about him. The team has a dominant performance and you have to say Oh, that wouldn’t have worked against a better team. The better the team plays the more upset you get. Can’t even hide it any more. Or maybe you are just setting up a future “I told you so”. Kind of sad.

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