Player Ratings: Fiorentina 1-2 AC Milan – Maignan at his best; Leao decisive

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan clinched three crucial points at Fiorentina on Saturday evening thanks to goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rafael Leao. Mike Maignan was also essential with some great saves 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 (8 – MOTM): He made several good stops throughout the game, ruining a great chance for Belotti in the first half by coming out quickly. The battle between the two resumed in the second half, as the Frenchman made an incredible save to keep out the striker’s shot (and what a shot that was, by the way). Back to his best tonight.

Calabria (6.5): He handled his 1v1 very well on the right flank and was also quite involved in the build-up, offering support for Chukwueze and sometimes drifting inside as well.

Thiaw (5.5): The German was carded after a rather clumsy challenge and it made sense to take him off at half-time. The rating might seem harsh, but the 22-year-old still doesn’t look like the confident and sleek player we saw at the start of 2023.

Tomori (6): There is no doubt that his positioning could have been better on Fiorentina’s goal, and he was also caught sleeping on a few other occasions. He ended up making a couple crucial clearances, in fairness, but he can do a lot better.

Florenzi (6): An okay performance with some good and bad moments, offering the most when going forward. Ikone had a good time initially on that flank, but the veteran ended up winning some of the 1v1s towards the end.

Bennacer (6): The Algerian made a huge mistake in the first half, which should have resulted in a Fiorentina goal, and he was also caught sleeping when Milan conceded. He was very important on other fronts, though, winning quite a few 50/50 duels and imposing himself in the aerial duels as well.

Reijnders (7): He looked very confident from the get-go, as you would expect after the displays with the Netherlands, and that assist for Leao was just lovely. He combined very well with his teammates throughout the game and he’s certainly a different player in front of goal these days.

Chukwueze (7): A very nice performance by the Nigerian, putting Fiorentina in trouble whenever he got on the ball. He was also involved in the first goal and perhaps should have had an assist when he set up Giroud early on. Something to build on for sure.

Loftus-Cheek (7.5): Aside from the crucial opener, he was consistently great in the 50/50 duels and used his strength in the best way possible. This makes such a difference for Milan and naturally frustrates the opponent a lot.

Leao (7.5): Did he look sluggish at times? Yes, but at the end of the day, he left Artemio Franchi with a goal and an assist. You can’t ask for anything more, especially since Giroud missed a sitter which the winger created.

Giroud (5.5): He struggled to combine with his teammates and was outbodied too many times, especially when in possession. The aforementioned miss from close range was indeed a big one, and it wasn’t the only good chance either for him this evening.


Gabbia (6.5): He came on and did what was needed, plus a little more. Fiorentina really pushed for the equaliser and the Italian made some crucial blocks/clearances in front of goal.

Okafor (6): We didn’t see that much of him, truth be told, but he did use his comfortability on the ball to calm things down for Milan.

Musah (6): The American covered a lot of ground, just like you would expect, and certainly helped see out the game for Milan.

Pulisic (6): It perhaps wasn’t the best situation for him, but he worked hard and had a good shot towards the end which was saved.

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

The manager 

Pioli (6.5): The starting XI pretty much picked itself, truth be told, but Milan had some interesting tactical solutions this evening and overall, they worked well. The Rossoneri really should have scored in the first half and the goal conceded was due to a collective lapse of concentration. Giroud should have been subbed off way earlier, though.

Tags AC Milan AC Milan Player Ratings Fiorentina Mike Maignan Ruben Loftus-Cheek


  1. Not gonna lie i was hoping leao gave the ball to sammy on the 2nd goal, you know just to build his confidence and momentum especially after he scored against verona.
    But all in all a good win for the team.

  2. Thiaw is really rusty. Gabbia should definitely be the starter over him. A really good away game against a tough team at home. Leao is in great form.

    1. Also hats off to Chukwueze for the improvements in form and style. Definitely getting better now. He will be a good part of this team.

    2. Yes, that’s my only issue from today team selection – Gabbia is in great form and should ve start. Thiaw post injury was – and is – atrocious, he need to earn back his spot. Play him from bench, maybe some starts against bottom half teams.

      And Giroud shouldve subbed off earlier… he is going after the season anyway, we should give more playing time for those who will stay beyond this season.

    3. Gabbia was the guilty one for the goal and could have caused another. However Thiaw clearly still look out of shape so he should start for the time being.

          1. Sorry Gabbia was playing RCB and the goal came from Milan’s LCM i.e. the opposite side of defence to Gabbia.

        1. Dont know what you ramling on. But the space Duncan ran into opened upp because Gabbia decieded to press and failed at the wrong time so close to our goal. Had that been Thiaw you would not say that it was the LCB to blame.

          1. Just watched the goal back.

            Gabbia (who apologies was playing RCB) was marking a man who laid the ball off to Duncan, Gabbia stayed with his man and Duncan scored from distance (a great strike).

            There’s simply no way that Gabbia is responsible for that goal.

            If anyone is it’s a midfielder who should’ve tracked Duncan but it was a great goal.

      1. Can’t believe people think any goal conceded should be blamed on someone. Guys opponents are also working hard and practicing how to score. We must concede some naturally. There where are mostly costlier mistakes teams fail to concede from but people don’t seems to care as much. Those are the errors we must tackle to be better in the future. Not looking at all the movements and small angles from well worked goals the opponents scored and try to fault Thiaw or Mirante for it.

  3. Try to sell Thiaw and Kalulu and buy Scalvini or Buongiorno or someone else who is doing well in the Serie A. Tomori, Gabbia, Scalvini and Simic could be enough for now and the future.

  4. Great game, but nervy, nice to see that we can hold pressure. Leao was busy playful at the beginning but the moment he woke up, it became a nightmare for Fiorentina and a delight for us, felt he shouldn’t have gone out same time with reijnders cos they both operated well on that left wing which became a lil bit not active the moment they left, Giroud should have been taken off for Okafor as he played better in the box than from the wings. RLC to me started showing his importance in the second half when he used his physical presence in holding possession for us & dispossesing opponents, bennacer operated quietly too, everyone was good, to he card given to thiaw was wrong, it wasnt as clumsy as people claim, but here, once there is a bias feeling against certain players, it so sticks till that player only performs at a 7.5 or 8 rating before he’s let off

  5. Atimes dis your ratings seems.awkward… how can Tijnai be 7 and Bennacer 6… Headless Musah also got a 6… It’s either u hate some players or u have never played football… U can’t hide behind ur keyboard and write jargons… Bennacer was practically d only midfielder that showed up today.. save for d error in d first half… TJ and Musah were just running headlessly around d field…. Aa usual..Pioli tactics..all balls to lLeao and insha Allah… Anyways good win for UCL qualification

    1. What? You haven’t watched the same game we watched. Bennacer was the only midfielder who showed up? Reijnders was excellent and L-C not only scored but upset Fiorentina’s defense a lot, especially in second half. What was you watching, that you didn’t notice what Reijnders and L-C did???

      “All balls to Leão” is actually not bad because he is BY FAR our best player and he won the game for us. Still, not all balls got to Leão. Chuk was excellent in the right wing tonight.

      For me, Pioli’s failures were not related to what you said. He should have started Gabbia, not Thiaw; he should have subbed a useless Giroud sooner (I love Giroud but he is irregular; sometimes he has quiet games and tonight was one of those games). I’d have subbed Okafor for Giroud; we probably would have scored a third goal with Okafor playing center and Rafa still playing.

    2. Bennacer was the worst of the midfield three tonight. Not saying he was bad but he lost the ball in front of goal and RLC and Reijnders were much better on the ball than Benny tonight.

      1. Absolutely.
        Bennacer was at fault for the Fiorentina goal.
        As usual, he was out of position because he lacks positional awareness.
        He is a liability, but most people turn blind eye to that fact because he is not one of the new players, and they are busy blaming the new players for everything.

        1. His positional awareness was pretty good when’s he made that block in the second half from a Duncan which would have been a certain goal was it…

          Ridiculous… support or players and give him time. He’s clearly not 100% match fit. Remember last season the people with the memory of a goldfish were saying Tomori was dreadful and should be sold, this season he’s out and out our best player. Players are human, they have peaks and troughs.

          People here clearly haven’t played the game to a good standard, he’s come back from a king injury, we won’t see prime Bennacer until next season now I don’t think, he needs the summer, full pre season and then he’ll fly

          1. No..the Messi neymar Suarez analogy was evidence that you can have three players in a part of the team, but one of those there is t going to perform as good as two others, that is what happened last night. There have been many games where Reijnders has not been great but do people call for his sale? People were saying Adli was rubbish but then all of a sudden…oh he’s actually quite good. Get the formation and tactic right and bingo. Your automatic position was that Bennacer is a liability because he didn’t play as well as RLC and Reijnders last night.

            The foreign player rule wasn’t why Boban and Savicevic didn’t play, the reason was that they weren’t ready to take the mantle from the others. Savicevic was a bench player and n 92-93 he got some game time, it’s no secret that Capello wanted to build his own Milan and not just take Sacchi’s and there were issues with Gullit, but he kept performing and couldn’t be left out. Savicevic was used in the right manner. Just because a player isn’t a starter at one point in time, doesn’t mean he won’t go on be a top player in the future. Boban couldn’t get near the first team to start with and went on to be a legend. If it was 1991 and we sent him to a Bari would you be saying he’s only a bench player let’s sell him. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

            Just because we might sign a DM why does that mean Bennacer will be benched. Because you say so? You aren’t Pioli or the next coach. He is good with the ball, makes good runs, he can play anywhere in the three. Like I said, the modern game is a squad game.

        2. No you pillock. Are you that immature that you have to imagine what people are implying just so as to Justify your statement?…Bennacer wasn’t a liability, he did ok, why does it matter if he wasn’t as good as Ruben or Reijnders last night? This isn’t a p!ssing competition in the playground, ‘my daddy’s bigger than your daddy’…Seriously try playing the game instead of sitting there in your armchair criticising, this happens throughout the history of football. Bennacer is getting back to his best, he’s probably at 80% which is still a quality player. The error in the first half where he let fiorentina in was a classic case lack of match sharpens.

          Anyone with half a football brain knows Bennacer is a top player, when you come back from a king injury it takes time: I remember Roy Keane going through similar in the 90s. It isn’t fifa,

          1. Ha ha 😂.
            But you still making my point that he was the worst midfielder and a liability.
            Besides being out of position on the Fiorentina goal, he also gave up a ball straight to a Fiorentina player that luckily for him Belotti missed.
            Bennacer is not a top player.
            Never was, injury or not.
            Only people with half a brain think that he is.
            When Milan had top midfielders, Bennacer was sitting on the bench next to Krunic.

        3. Ah so you are an immature person then. Good to know. Hard to gauge people, I try not to judge people on their stupidity.

          So when did we have top midfielders with Bennacer sitting on the bench?

          1. You are the one calling people names because they have a different opinion from yours and then you accused them of being immature. Nice, very mature.
            When Milan had Kessie and Tonali, Bennacer was the bench player next to Krunic.
            Check your facts.
            In 20/21 and 21/22, Milan most successful seasons over the last 5 years, Bennacer barely played over a 1000 minutes, while Kessie and Tonali were in the 3000s.
            Google it , Mr. Half a football 🧠.
            You continue to agree that Bennacer was the worst midfielder on the pitch while also coming up with excuses why he was the worst. Either way he was the worst.
            Try to gauge that.

        4. He played 52 games over those seasons you mentioned. Milan were at their best when Bennacer and Tonali were in the double pivot and Kessie as the AM….

          Just because he wasn’t as good as the other two midfielders on that day why does that make him a liability? Or do you deal in absolutes like that? Is everything black and white with you? That’s like saying Neymar was the worst of the trio of Messi-Neymar and Suarez so therefore he must be a liabitiy….utterly nonsensical. Bennacer was a key player last season, he got injured and Is now coming back. It’s going to take time. That doesn’t make him a liability.

          It’s nice you can Google statistics, I prefer to watch the game

          1. 😅
            You should stop.
            Now you are using an analogy that includes names like Messi, Neymar and Suarez.
            You said Bennacer was a key player last season, and guess what, that was Milan 2nd worst season since 2019. The worst Milan season since 2019 was 19/20, another season when Bennacer was a starter.
            When he is on the bench, Milan has a great season, 2nd and a scudetto win, when he is starting Milan finishes 5th or 6th.
            Even this season, without Bennacer or him being a liability and the worst of the midfielders available, Milan is 2nd.
            How key is he then?
            Teams don’t usually do better when a “top player” is not playing, as is the case with Bennacer.

        5. You see it’s apparent you’ve never played the game, everything is stats based, you look at numbers and correlate them to league positions. It is possible you know to play a key role even if a team is playing badly, for example, if that player wasn’t there, the team would have performed even worse.

          The Messi Suarez and Neymar analogy was trying to put it on terms you may understand. Just because you are the least best, doesn’t make you a liability. The names are irrelevant…it’s an analogy.

          What you’ve done is pick examples and put the success or failures down to one player, and manipulated that to make Bennacer look bad to try and justify your point. I mean out compete lack of a right side had nothing to do with it no? The big Injuries didn’t contribute right? The Zlatan effect didn’t spur us on no? This is classic of modern day football fans, it’s all stats and analytics..

          Perhaps review Klopp’s view on Bennacer. I’d say yea a pretty good ‘gauge’

          How anyone can play 120 games over 5 years and be called a bench player…madness

          1. Wow.
            Milan only in serie A plays 38 games per season, plus Copa Italia, plus UCL/Europa league and you think a player playing 120 games in 5 seasons is a lot.
            Also, it matters how many minutes he played not just how many games. Bench players can come of the bench for 1 minute and counts as a game played.
            Kessie, 5 years at Milan 223 games , 18394 minutes.
            Tonali, 3 years at Milan 130 games, 9155 minutes.
            Bennacer 5 years at Milan, 161 games, 10459 minutes.
            Krunic, 4,5 years at Milan,
            139 games. 7319 minutes.
            Hakan, 4 years at Milan,
            172 games, 13000 minutes.
            Madness right?
            Tonali played 2 years less at Milan than Bennacer and almost has as many minutes played.
            Hakan played a year less and has 2500 nore minutes played than Bennacer.
            Bennacer was just a bench player like Krunic, who got to play when the starters left.
            BENCH PLAYER. Never a top player.
            What does Klopp have to do with Bennacer? If he values him so much how come he didn’t come and buy him, instead he was trying to spend over a 100 mil on Caicedo.

        6. Ufffff there’s those stats again. Try playing the game and watching it….

          So was Savicevic a bench player? Only got to play when others left? Boban? Was Foden a bench player because he was used sparingly to start with? If you use that manipulated way of thinking you can make up any nonsense: here you go. Foden was only a bench player and he now only plays because David Silva then Mahrez left. Same as Savicevic, he only played because Gullit and van Basten were sold and retired respectively….he’s just a bench player really,

          Todays game is a squad game, having played the game at a pretty high level, you don’t have starters and bench players you have starters and finishers, players who will come on and impact the game late on. Pep is the master of this

        7. Oh and I have it on good authority that Klopp did try for Bennacer…much like your world of stats being far removed from real football, the internet works of transfer need doesn’t reflect the real world

          1. Stop trying to use great players to make a baseless point about a bench player.
            First you used Messi, Neymar and Suarez. Those 3 were all starters. In Bennacer case he was a bench player while Tonali and Kessie were starting. That’s from watching the game and from the stats. There is a huge discrepancy in minutes played between the 3. MSN were all great and they were a trio.
            Savicevic and Boban were bench players at the beginning, but that’s because there were rules forbidding teams from playing more than 3 foreign players. Bennacer doesn’t have that problem. His problem is that he isn’t good enough to start.
            The difference in success when he is a starter during a season compared to when he is mostly bench player is because there is a drop off in quality in the midfield. As you said yourself, Kessie and Tonali are better players than , Bennacer and Krunic. That’s why they started and Bennacer and Krunic cane of the bench.
            Right, Klopp wanted Bennacer, on good authority, ha ha 😂. A player who he could have signed for around 30 mil, but instead chose to chase 100 mil Caicedo and sign Mac Calister for 42 million.
            Everyone is calling for Milan to sign a DM next summer.
            Take a guess who is going back to the bench if they sign a DM. Take a wild guess 😜.
            It sure won’t be Reijnders or RLC.

    3. You must be joking that slow injury prone is nothing but useless he is the reason why our midfield is so weak and everyone is out playing us fiorentina should have scored at least 3 goals because bennacer was sleeping

  6. Nice win against an opponent that is not half bad.
    I was among those who preferred to see Gabbia ahead to Thiaw, guess I was right. Our defense and midfield were caught sleeping at times, but overall it was ok and Maignan had actually a superb game today, if it wasn’t for him (or Terraciano for that matter) we could have seen many goals.
    Midfield wise, Reijnders was very good offensively wise. Bennacer is still far from his best. You could say that he had less offensive contributions and more defensive ones which helped to liberate Reijnders, but even defensively he wasn’t as good.
    Loftus is always something, he just can’t stop scoring and his size+strength is a nightmare for opposition. I’d like to see him more on the defensive side of the midfield but I’m afraid that will limit his offensive contribution.
    Leao had a very good game today. Sure he was a bit sluggish in the beginning, but in the end he could have had 2 or 3 assists if it wasn’t for Giroud and Chukwueze.
    Chuk was the good surprise of the night. Sure he didn’t have goals or assists, but his game today was more accurate. He didn’t miss passes and his dribbles were actually dangerous for Fiorentina.
    Coaching wise, not much to complain but I thought it was risky to take out Leao and Reijnders so soon. Had Fiorentina equalized we would have been left without our most creative players.

  7. One of the more entertaining games I’ve seen this season. Both teams had chances but Milan deserved to win.
    Great games by Maignan, Leao and Reijnders.
    RLC ans Chukwueze were very good.
    Giroud did a lot of dirty work but wasteful in front of the goal.
    Bennacer and the defense very, very shaky. Maignan bailed them out today.
    Thiaw was poor but Gabbia wasn’t much better either.
    Reijnders was played in his proper position and you see the difference right away. He and Leao stroke a very good partnership on the left side.
    Unless it was an injury or low energy, I didn’t understand subbing off the 2 best players. After that Fiorentina took over the game.
    Overall a very good performance by Milan.

  8. It is abundantly clear that Gabbia is doing much better than Thiaw, and it’s been the case forever, ever since Gabbia came back. There is no need to start Thiaw. He can be Gabbia’s sub. The two starting CBs should be Gabbia and Tomori. I don’t know what else Gabbia needs to do to convince Pioli; he’s been consistently excellent but still, is not given the starting job. Unreal!

    Chuk has had two consecutive great games. It does seem like he will end up not being a bust, after all. I thought he was one of the top 4 players for Milan tonight, together with Rafa, Reijnders, and Mike. Loftus-Cheek was a close fifth good player tonight.

    Chuk deserved a score; he was denied by Terraciano’s great saves and by Rafa not assisting him when he was wide open in front of an empty net. He was very dangerous and passed the ball beautifully, creating great opportunities for his companions. He did not make us miss an exhausted Puli.

    Mike is back in form; numerous great saves.

    Rafa, MOTM for me. What a gorgeous assist! What a gorgeous goal! And he was unlucky when Belotti saved what would have been another goal by Rafa, on the goal line. Where are the racist fans? Will they continue to say that Rafa is “lazy” and sucks? LOL. He is by far our best player! He won this game for us.

    Everybody except Thiaw and Giroud did at least relatively well tonight (despite a few mistakes but they were all still worthy of a pass, except for Thiaw and Giroud), but our defense did look shaky at times (when the above-mentioned mistakes were committed). This made for some nervy minutes there at the end when la Viola threated to tie the game.

    The defensive mistakes often start in midfield. We still need a proper defensive midfielder; Kessie was never replaced and this is the management’s biggest failure. We concede some silly goals when midfielders lose the ball to counter-attacking teams, which didn’t usually happen when we had Kessie.

    It is great to get an away win in Florence; we haven’t had much luck there. And it is also great that we are now 6 points ahead of Juve.

    Darn, without the injury crisis we had, we could be challenging Inter for the Scudetto. We recovered most injured players and won 6 in a row.

    1. “Where are the racist fans? Will they continue to say that Rafa is “lazy” and sucks? LOL. He is by far our best player! He won this game for us.”

      Why would people say he was lazy yesterday when he wasn’t. People criticize him (and others) when they deserve criticism. Would you criticize Giroud for being an awful striker after a match where he scores a hat trick?

      And also… So it’s racist to say the truth about a player’s attitude no matter the skin color? LOL. 😀

  9. Our defense isn’t solid yet. You can definitely tell. how Fiore didn’t score more goals is a mystery. Against a better team we would have dropped points for sure. A lot of last ditch defending, players failing assignments. Pioli STILL hasn’t been able to sort out our defensive woes.

    Tomori, Thiaw, Calabria, Florenzi, Bennacer all look so uncertain at times. Gabbia too looked nervy today. When we stopped controlling the possession and pressing forward after the second goal, that’s when we started making mistakes.

    I think Pioli’s best defense is constant offense.

    Leao looked great, as did Chuky actually. Reijnders looked pretty good on the ball. Him and RLC contribute so much to the attack, that Pioli just needs to figure out who the third mid is between Adli/Bennacer/Musah. I think once the American improves over time he would be hard to displace, especially as Bennacer is still shaky.

    Great 3 points and a 6pt cushion in second. Forza Pioli. FORZA MILAN ⚫️🔴

    1. It is not a mistery. Fiorentina’s attackers have to improve their shooting. There is a reason why Fiorentina is not a big team and the reason is its player’s overall capabilities.

      1. Not a big team? In fact I saw today that they are a big side when they started subbing, not to mention some missing players like Bonaventura & castrovilli, Parisi, Artur Melo, Luca Ranieri. They have a better array of players than thought off

  10. Decent win, but many have pointed out we’re defensively not solid. 80% of Fiorentina’s chances came from either a poor pass, a poor clearance or poor positioning. Three or four times we were just caught sleeping. Bad defense has been a theme all season and this needs to be fixed. Either with better coaching or better players.

    Finally, stupid Tomori gets a useless yellow to go one yellow away from suspension with back to back games against Juventus and Inter coming up fast. It will be great to be without our “best” CB for another 5-0 hammering by Inter to clinch their 20th title in front of our fans🙄🙄🙄. If Pioli is smart he will instruct Tomori to take a yellow v. Lecce so he can sit out Sassuolo and be available for Intet and Juventus. I doubt he will be Mourinho level smart though.

        1. He tried kicking the ball against the bill board for a rebound I guess, if that’s what you meant cos he was so close to the board & that shouldn’t warrant a card from Maresca, but he’s black & not Italian, Gabbia had more tackles than Thiaw, but Thiaw is the clumsy one that got carded right? If it was in the box and VAR was used, you would see that he hardly had his foot touching the Fiorentina man, also Bellotti is best known for getting defenders carded, our first game against Roma should come to mind

          1. What rebound? The ball was already out. The play had already stopped. A few seconds later he goes and kicks the ball away, to delay the restart of the game. That’s a yellow for deliberate delay of game. The card was completely legit, and it had nothing to do with Belotti.

          2. ok ill take a semi answer from inbetween you luigi and acm1899 as i doubt tomorri was carded because he isnt an italian. I just missed the incidence because he was already on his way out of the field and then the ref came waddling after him.

  11. We need to have Gabbia and Tomori as the out and out starters. Thiaw and Kalulu can backup and we can get 1 more quality CB (Calafiori) in summer to finish the defense.

    1. And Simic is to be dumped???, I think we should rotate our defenders as best as we can, to get all of them to that beast mode, we have 6 good , Tomori, Kjaer, Thiaw, Gabbia, Simic & Kalulu.
      What exactly is Bonera’s job, to stroll with Pioli? His efforts at coordinating the defence should be more emphasized, zone marking, offside traps, defending corners etc, we have just been lucky to have respite amidst all

      1. Amazing analysis… “beast mode” wow you must be under 20 yrs old. I’ll ignore that part since it doesn’t deserve a response when you type like that.

        On the other part I completely forgot about Simic that was my fault. Yes he 100% should be included he has the talent for sure. Personally Kalulu is looking like he doesn’t belong and he’s always injured at his young age so we could consider selling him.

  12. Great win and great to see Maignan back to his best.

    It was a tough game, Fiorentina put us under a lot of pressure.

    For me the stars were:

    – Maignan – obvs;
    – Tomori – the rating’s harsh, he cleared and blocked a lot);
    – Reijnders – was absolutely awesome today, he didn’t hold onto to the ball too long and times his passes to perfection;
    – RLC – absolutely dominated and was a huge outlet to relieve the pressure;
    – Chuk – did so well and deserved that goal but who can deny….
    – Leao = difference maker = priceless.

    Also shout out to Calabria who interprets the inverted full back role so well.

    Thiaw wasn’t great but will no doubt start the next game regardless.

    I’ve noticed that Gabbia gets a lot of calls from the ref! I don’t know whether it’s the way he carries himself or how he talks to the ref or just good old fashioned racism but it’s extremely handy to have with a defender.

    Bennacer was poor, holding onto the ball too long which nearly cost us a goal.

    You stick a decent DM in that side tonight and we could really go places. I guess we are going places – 6 points clear in 2nd!

    1. Tough to displace RLC and Reijnders at this point. It comes down to whoever takes that 3rd slot.

      Next game with RLC missing, I’d be curious to see what midfield Pioli puts out.

      1. DM + Reijnders + RLC is a decent midfield.

        Drop the DM in and give Reijnders and RLC and second season and they could really start to dominate games.

        The goal we conceded was again due to a lack of DM. The DM is costing is most of our goals this season and it’s gotten worse since we got rid of everyone’s favourite Bosnian.

        1. We need a decent DM to stop leaking goals.

          Adli certainly is not the answer. None of our players are suited to the position really.

        2. RLC is suspended for Lecce. It will be very interesting to see how Pioli replaces him. Will he play Pulisic in the role ( similar to the role he apparently plays for USA) or rotate in one of the midfielders.
          It will be an indication of which skill set he sees as more important for the role.
          Creativity, defence or power/size.
          RLC is rare in covering all those aspects.

    2. Just on my Gabbia comment that he benefits (at least on the pitch) from racism….

      Officials in Serie A awarded an average of 20% more fouls per season against darker-skinned players from 2009 to 2019, with 11% more yellow cards and 16% more red cards.

      Now this should never be a consideration but it sort of also is….

      Thiaw will likely get booked more often mainly because he’s clumsy but also because he’s black.

      Now of course racism works in different ways since Gabbia is at a distinct disadvantage in actually starting games because he’s Italian!

        1. You’d have to blind not to notice that black players are discriminated against by refs.

          The stats back it up.

          There was an incident v Fiorentina when Gabbia took out Belotti. There’s no way Thiaw would’ve got away with that.

          A lot of the fouls they Thiaw and Tomori concede are because they’re black. Thiaw shouldn’t have got booked.

          1. Thiaw will likely get booked more often mainly because he’s clumsy but also because he’s black.

            ^This is just YOUR opinion, and not a fact.

            This is just reaching. I’m NOT in any way saying that racism doesn’t exist (it does) – but to trying to relate everything and boiling them down to the skin colour of the players is just amusing personally. Paredes is currently the most carded player in Serie A, followed by Ranieri, Ramadani, our very own Theo and in fact, amongst top 10, there are no black players there. That doesn’t seem to fit your narrative now, does it? So, Is that a form of racism too or not?

            I usually enjoy your inputs but I have to be fair that I’m very disappointed with this point of view. Hopefully it won’t be the next plague that would engulf the rest of the football fans everywhere.

            Sorry for the double post – it was cut out for some reason.

          1. It was a frustrating performance for me. Did we play well…yes, but once again we find ourselves with twitchy bum holes at the end of the match. The first half was pretty Much total domination yet we don’t kill the game off early. Im not sure what the issue is, it has to be tactical. We should be going in at HT 2-0 up with that much dominance. Maignan was superb, I thought Florenzi did a great job at LB, Reijnders looked really accomplished and Rafa was also excellent. People need to stop about the goals he doesn’t score, it’s not his game, if we get 15 a season out of Rafa I think that’s decent. He offers so much more than goals. Great to see a Ruben continue scoring, we are now seeing the player that promised so much in 2018. Really pleased for Chukwueze, the bit clearly has talent and like so many others, if you give him time and minutes he’ll improve.

            For me the biggest head scratcher was why didn’t Pioli leave Chukwueze on, move Pulisic to the left, put Okafor down the middle and take Giroud off.

            We need to turn dominance into goals

          2. As much as I hate statistics, those stats are shocking.

            Over a 10 year period (2009-2019) refs officials awarded an average of 20% more fouls per season against darker-skinned players, 11% more yellow cards and 16% more red cards.

            Thiaw and Tomori get a lot of unlucky free kicks and yellow cards. Gabbia gets away with a lot. That is all I’m saying.

  13. My thoughts exactly
    Musah imo needs to improve defensively, especially positioning and timing. If he does, it will be hard not to play him, even as RLC sub.

    1. Agreed. you can tell he has potential. Strong on his feet. Hard to displace. With a propensity to drive forward. Like Kessie 2.0. just needs to develop more and improve.

      1. He dribbles far too much for my liking.

        And it’s not direct dribbling like RLC or Leao. There’s a lot of faffing and whilst that faffing is going on he’s getting cornered or missing attacking runs.

        Pulisic’s offside goal was a perfect example of the latter.

        1. I like him but he needs developing and you are spot on with your description. The only thing I would say is he does carry through the mid field and is hard to knock off the ball. If the game slows down for him he could become a player.

          1. It’s his style though.

            He’d be a good box to box player but we already have Reijnders and RLC.

            I can’t see him playing DM. I know he has. For the US though.

        2. He just turned 20 and has only really had a consistent role in the side since 2024.

          I agree with what you say but I am willing to wait a couple years. He could be the DM we need.

          I hope with a full summer to work his way into that role it won’t take that two years! We seem ready to challenge next season!

          1. I can’t see it.

            He wants to take the ball and drive it forward which is ok if he can do it quickly but it’s not suited to DM.

  14. We played well and win although the defense kinda shaky which was the result of Thiaw is still not on form and the lack of DM.

    None of Reijnders, Bena, RLC, Musah, and Adli are DM. But the management decided it’s a good idea to get Terraciano a RB when we already has enough RB. Now the kid is useless.

    Also, we created plenty of chances in the 1st half but it’s just crazy that Giroud can’t even scored the easy one.

    Next season we really need one good FW and one DM.

  15. The fact that Mike is MOTM says something about our game. Happy about the 3 points but we still seem shaky in defense. It doesn’t instill confidence for our games against Inter and Juve.

    1. I don’t watch many inter games, so I don’t know how many they got or if they have cases of refereeing against them. So I don’t know about that.
      Anyways, I always found that team to be overrated especially here ( top 3 team in Europe, yeah…). Perhaps some overrate them in order to justify us being so far from a title race.

    2. “Take away Inter’s dodgy penalties and we’d be in first place. 😉”

      And/or the winning goals that should have been canceled due to fouls prior the goals.

    3. Hate inter as much as any true milan fan. However, dodgy penalties is not the only reason that they sit in 1st place. They’ve been consistent for most of the season while we went for a rollocoaster ride. Not to mantion the derby. Having said that, hope they never win anything ever again.

  16. So Thiaw is just rusty after coming from muscle injury but Bennacer who had knee surgery and was out for half of the season is useless.


  17. MOTM imo is shared between Mike and Leao. They both were decisive. Leao is unplayable on his day. Imo his game has improved overall. And since he’s been criticized early on this year, he’s been a goal creation machine…more than normal. That was a brilliant unplayable goal. That’s 5 goals 5 assists in his last 11 ie since Feb. He’s been on a tear. One of the few wingers that are unplayable in certain scenarios and that’s why clubs are probably willing to pay big money for him. These types of players aren’t easy to replicate or replace.
    Anyways, thought Fiorentina did extremely well and we came away with 3 points, so happy for that. I dont know how both teams kept that tempo the entire game. The goal conceded was the middle of midfield/front of defence having a gaping hole, no need to say more there, we all know the issue. Calab did well, Flo so-so, Tomori was good. Chuk was ok building from the prior performance. On some occasions I thought they could have played the ball earlier to him and score while in other occasions his teammates needed to read his thru passes better. He could have bagged two assists easily today (reminiscent of last year’s expensive signing, he just need other ppl to follow through).
    I must say what a difference in environment and coach are doing for Bellotti who looked lively.
    Pioli has now beaten/scored more points against all the coaches he’s been rumoured to take his place in the hotseat, Italiano included. I find that ironic and hilarious.

    1. “Pioli has now beaten/scored more points against all the coaches he’s been rumoured to take his place in the hotseat, Italiano included. I find that ironic and hilarious.”
      I think that him having the better squad has something to do with it.

      1. Yes but he still has to beat them, right? Because if he didn’t, we’d def heard about it, the media would be all of it, kinda like his record vs Inzaghi. But we know he has a better team.
        And he beat Conte with Conte having a great or better team. Motta doesn’t have a crap team either. They’re in 4th.

        1. This season, Gasperini pretty much had his number, but overall I think he beats him.
          True he has to beat them, and he more or less came up with a plan solid enough to do so, but aside of Inter, no one in Italy has a better squad as Milan, especially if we consider the subs.
          Motta is for example, an overachiever, even considering how bad many teams are this season in Italy, Bologna being forth is a big achievement.

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