Player Ratings: Man Utd 1-1 AC Milan – Kessie an absolute beast; Kjaer to the rescue

By Isak Möller -

Milan were heading towards an okay result in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 against Man Utd, then Simon Kjaer stepped up and scored a crucial away goal. Down below are the player ratings. 

Starting XI

Donnarumma (6): Didn’t have that much to do this evening and perhaps you could argue he could have done better on United’s goal, but it was very well taken. Decent performance and no major complaints.

Calabria (6.5): Worked very hard in defence as usual and had a wonderful cross almost converted by Krunic. However, he didn’t get as much out of his play in attack, mostly due to United’s defending.

Kjaer (7.5): The big Dane has hit the frame several times this season but managed to get one in the goal this evening, scoring the crucial injury-time equaliser. In addition, he was very solid in defence as you would expect.

Manchester United, ManU v AC Milan - UEFA Europa League - Round of Sixteen - First Leg - Old Trafford AC Milan s Simon Kjaer celebrates scoring their side s first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League round of sixteen, first leg match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday March 11, 2021. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xMartinxRickettx 58550932

Tomori (7): He could have done a bit better on the goal, losing Diallo as a result of Fernandes’ wonderful ball, but other than that he was very good both in defence and in the build-up. Several good interceptions and calm play as well.

Dalot (6.5): Overall he looked a lot better than last time out although he didn’t get a goal this evening. Offered support in the attacking phase and was very comfortable on the ball, unlike some performances this season. Something to build on for sure.

Meite (7.5): Easily the Torino loanee’s best performance in a Milan shirt. Not only did he do well when playing it simple this evening, but he also got out of tricky positions and created a lot with his moves. Very solid defensively as well, really good.

Kessie (8 – MOTM): Yet again, the 24-year-old is the Rossoneri’s man of the match with a simply stunning performance. In defence and in attack, he was absolutely crucial this evening and it’s a shame that he had his great strike disallowed. A true leader, excelling as needed with multiple key players out.

Saelemaekers (6.5): He worked very hard and had some success in the attacking phase, helping his teammates create some space with his movement. Had a few shooting opportunities that could have gone better, but overall solid.

Diaz (5.5): He managed to show himself on the pitch this time and he got the ball quite often, but he didn’t really add much in his role. Kessie was a lot more efficient when moved to the No.10 role in the final 20 minutes, which says a lot. He needs to improve still. Too much sloppy play and too many lost balls.

Photo LaPresse - Spada March 11, 2021 Manchester England Soccer A.C. Milan- Stagione 2020-2021 - Europa League Ottavi di finale Manchester United, ManU vs Ac Milan In the pic: kessie celebration goal missed PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITAxFRAxCHN Copyright: xSpada/LaPressex

Krunic (7): Looked very, very good once again after the surprising display at the weekend. Had a few chances to level it earlier but made up for it with his assist for Kjaer’s goal. Despite playing on the left this evening he was an important asset for the team.

Leao (6): It didn’t start too well for the Portuguese as he was offside and out of position several times, but he improved and at least helped Milan create some chances. Won the crucial corner that they converted as well.


Tonali (6.5): Very good from what we saw of him as he chased after every ball and was successful in many of the duels. Showed off his good passing foot and no doubt would have been a higher rating with more time.

Castillejo (N/A): He was on the pitch for as many minutes as Sandro, but he was a bit more invisible and had more of a numerical impact than anything. Therefore, no rating.

Kalulu (N/A): Came on to replace Calabria and did okay but not enough to set a rating.

READ MORE: Kjaer nets 92nd minute equaliser for Milan against Man Utd as Henderson flaps

Tags AC Milan Europa League Man Utd


  1. 0-1 an “okay” result? 1-0 win would be “okay”.

    Not a single loss is okay.

    Moreover, without an away goal there would be zero chances to progress further in the league.

    1. I think you have it backwards, as we were the visiters. Also, how can you possibly say that we would have no chance to progress with a 1-0 result? That’s nonsense. teams bounce back all the time on the return leg.

      1. Teams do. Milan does not.

        1. Zero strikers are currently available.

        2. The team have not managed to keep a single clean sheet vs a “big” team this season.

        3. The team performs better in away matches rather than at home. More to say — Milan sucks at home games.

        Milan 3–3 Roma
        Milan 0–3 Lille
        Milan 2–2 Hellas Verona
        Milan 2–2 Parma
        Milan 1–3 Juventus
        Milan 0–0 Torino
        Milan 0–3 Atalanta
        Milan 0–3 Internazionale
        Milan 1–1 Udinese

        Therefore I strongly believe that there would have been 0 (Zero) chances to progress, should we have not scored an away goal.

        1. + Milan 1–1 Red Star Belgrade

          P.S. Milan have not managed to bounce back & win a single game once going behind (conceding first).

  2. Good result, good performance. Kessie is, for me, the team’s most valuable player, and one of the very best midfielders (and most-reliable PK takers) in world football.

    1. Best midfielder in world football?
      38 appearances and 10 goals(all penalties) and 2 assists. I respect that he tries to defend but that’s all. Zero creative passing zero dangerous shooting zero scoring during build up play. A world class midfielder fight create dribble score. And after 60-70 minutes he is like a tired veteran. Guys relax. Kessie tries really hard but he is below average. He looks good in your eyes because there is noone else in the midfield. Answer me honestly. You prefer kessie or milikovic-savic?

          1. You probably have not watched any Milan games during last 12 months. Kessie improved drastically, especially with his positioning & ball control, as well as composure & overall confidence.

            He is not about creativity or dribbling. He is a holding midfielder after all.

          2. His job is not to score goals. Your statistic means nothing. Compare how many tackles, interceptions and recoveries he has versus any other defensive midfielder and how much ground he covers. He protects the ball well and never gets outmuscled.

            If you have watched him against United and still think he’s below average then you simply know nothing about this sport.

      1. As a defensive midfielder,this is all the best u can get from,Kessie should keep on doing us such great service,
        Vamos to the guys they’ve fought a good fight.

    1. Kjaer – Romagnoli ( was very satisfied with his injury, hope he stays injured till next month) Leao sucks, badly out of form.
      We sorely miss bennacer – Kessie , with Tomori as a starter the squad is dependable.

  3. Thank God that Romagnoli didn’t play, apart from the goal error, Tomori was solid, agaisnt the runners of Manchester United forwards. Dias is joy killer but overall, the team played their heart out and played beautifully. I enjoyed the match. Kudos to General Kessie

  4. This is good performance compare to last match vs belgrade, and we only have to appreciate all the players for the result. Time to bounce back at home, give us a cleansheet.

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