Player Ratings: Milan 4-0 ES Sahel – midfielder runs the show; two players struggle

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan got another pre-season win under their belts on Saturday evening at Milanello as they managed to beat Tunisian opposition ES Sahel 4-0. One player in particular really impressed, whilst a couple underwhelmed.

Starting XI

Maignan (6): The Frenchman had very little to do during the match but he made the occasional save when called upon.

Kalulu (6): Showed a lot of willing down the right wing to link up with Christian Pulisic, but was never really key to any attacks.

Tomori (6): No clear mistakes, but he had so little to do that he was unlikely to get a high or low rating. Did what was asked with no fuss.

Thiaw (6): Much the same as Tomori, Thiaw looked composed but had very little to do in the way of defending during this one.

Hernandez (5): A surprisingly quiet performance, Hernandez had very limited involvement in the attack and found himself drifting into midfield, to little effect.

Lotfus-Cheek (8-MOTM): Easily the best player on the pitch, Loftus-Cheek got a first-half hat-trick which featured three great finishes. He was always involved in a lot of play throughout the game.

Krunic (7): Playing at the base of the midfield, Krunic was very tidy in possession and sprayed some good passes to the wide areas.

Reijnders (6.5): Made a lively start to the game and will clearly cover a lot of ground this season, but his influence waned as the game went on.

Pulisic (7): There were doubts about him on the right wing but he set up two of Loftus-Cheek’s goals and was involved in the play throughout the match.

Giroud (5.5): Despite scoring a penalty to make it 4-0, Giroud missed a handful of very good chances throughout the game and was not at his best.

Leao (6): He did very well to set up the second goal, but he had little overall impact on the game, much like Hernandez on the same flank.


Stefano Pioli did not make any changes, likely because Milan are in action again on Sunday morning against Novara. An entirely different starting eleven will almost certainly start that match.

Tags AC Milan Ruben Loftus-Cheek


  1. Who needs the real SMS when you can have the British SMS 😄. Nice finishing by RLC.
    That Krunic rating will trigger some people in here LOL

  2. We clearly need to get a new striker, giroud time is up, also redbird out they sold my tonali because they came broke

    1. Considering there’s a new stadium in the works and we’ve spent way more than just Tonali’s fee is say you’re talking out your arsehole.

    1. What are you on about fool? Its one guys rating in a practice game against low level competition. I’m really convinced about Krunic now.,, If you think Krunic is good enough to start for Milan than you have a really low opinion of Milan. Because there is not another top team in Europe that Krunic would ever start for. Not one. Not Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal, Newcastle, PSG, Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico, not Inter, Napoli, Juventus. He would not see minutes at any other top club, so why is he good enough to start for Milan?

  3. Anyone else see Tonali just now? Absolutely phenomenal!!! 😢😢😢👏👏👏

    (I’m over it by the way, just saying)

      1. Nah they’ll be alright Villa. Not many teams will do to them what Newcastle just did and Tonali was key.

        I’m not b**ching by the way, we wouldn’t have had half the market we’ve had without his sale. Just wishing him well.

          1. @Giancarlo, Villa doesn’t count? 🤣🤣🤣🤣 You want to see him fail xddd I have never seen sore loser like you in my whole life.
            You have more lame excuses than KLOPP Hahaha

    1. He had a great game.
      Involved in almost all Newcastle goals.
      That up and down, free flowing style of football in EPL suits him well.

        1. According to you so serie a football is for slow soft and old player, well you are right though
          , that why Italian teams haven’t win ucl and el in a decade, and if we keep that mentality it might reach a century before Milan win ucl

          1. @elliotazzuri not what i meant its just that serie a is more tactical not like epl where its more aggresive so players who are aggresive and can run all day excel especially when considering midfielders but your right serie a is not at the top anymore like it was back in the old days

          2. Inter played toe to toe with Man City in the final and if Lukaku couldve scored a point blank header, they could’ve possibly won.

  4. 2 things to take away from the game:

    1. Now that Pioli has the players to play the 4 2 3 1 formation successfully, he changes formations.

    2. The 4 3 3 formation caters for Krunic’s need of game time

  5. now I believe pioli should talk to the management that he needs a better striker cos that won’t be an excuse when the leagues start proper because giroud can not and will not match of the pace of this current team for sure so I strongly believe we need a new striker of better still play okafor up there instantly while giroud watch from the bench

  6. I have to agree with some people saying now that we have the players to finally play the 4 2 3 1 perfect we change to a 4 3 3…

    Theres a couple of things that bother me here. Number one is we don’t play the 4 3 3 properly. It’s supposed to be a fast paced formation with fast players who beat their man and sort of a high press. We don’t do that. The attack is constantly slow and it always goes to the wings who always pass it to the full backs, it’s boring and it’s predictable. Pulisic the amount of times he can put a cross into the box and he passes it back it’s really annoying. Leao looks so rusty he hadn’t gained any form yet.

    I’m honestly thinking that in the not so distant future we’re going to revert back to a 4 2 3 1 due to poor results.

    I think we still need an attacker. We can’t rely on giroud every game again you can tell his legs are getting tired.

    1. this is a 4231. The last 3 games. Look at the Average location maps. RLC at the top of the triangle playing in half spaces….Reij progressive pivot, Krunic dm pivot. its not about formation/positions. Its about roles. He played the role well against this low block. It is more dangerous when facing a team with a real counter. but I believe that is why we play Pulisic who has a high work rate next to him for cover.

  7. Yes we won, but remember our opponent was at very different level than us.

    And see this ratings, and we found the pattern in all our friendly matches : We focused on Midfield, when play 4-3-3. Even Leao & Theo found very much little spaces than last season with 4-2-3-1.
    Leao always go wider at Left Wing, and have not the usual freedom to roam. I think we become more rigid, the ones roam are Reijnders & Loftus-Cheeks only.

    I think we need more fluidity in this 4-3-3 ; pass combinations, marauding players from back, drop deep forwards, etc that we had when play 4-2-3-1. It’s killing me to watching Theo & Leao played quietly like this. They are the best Left Wing in the world, we should build around them. Let them roam, other positions balance the area than they left. So opponents attracted to the main threads that roaming everywhere, leaving others ACM players chance to see open spaces & opportunities. Thats how we should play, our key to win the scudetto 2021-2022.

  8. My observation in 433 through these preseason matches is, Theo-Leao connection has been somehow disrupted. Theo seem to have more defensive obligations now which is not quite his cup of tea. He’s not so much involved in final third as before and instead dirfts to the midfield to cover for Reijnders who carries the ball forward. Let’s hope they will find their rhythm again or else it’ll be a waste of talent. And a panic revert back to 4231.

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