Player Ratings: AC Milan 0-0 Bologna – Attackers struggle big time; one clear flop

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan failed to restore their three-point lead at the top of the table this evening and thus have just one point on Napoli ahead of the remaining games. Far from ideal for the Rossoneri, who didn’t perform well tonight. 

Starting XI

Maignan (6): He didn’t really have that much work to do, with just four shots on target for Bologna, but he did make a very good save on Barrow in the first half.

Calabria (6): Defensively solid and almost always present when Milan went forward. He had one chance that maybe he should have done better with, but it wasn’t the best of angles either.

Kalulu (6.5): He was very solid defensively and along with his colleague at the back, Bologna were kept very quiet and Kalulu wasn’t afraid to press high to win the ball back.

Tomori (6.5): He has found his match in Kalulu and the partnership is a joy to witness. Even when Milan pushed many men forward the centre-backs pressed high and won the ball back, taking calculated risks when needed.

Milan were held by Bologna

Hernandez (6): He was also solid at the back and often went forward with his trademark runs. It would be very harsh to criticise him for his performance, given that he absolutely managed his duties.

Bennacer (5.5): He had some really bright glimpses at the start of the game and it looked like we were in for another good display. He got very tired as the game went on, though, and he lacked precision in his shots and passes.

Tonali (5.5): It wasn’t his best performance of the season, that’s for sure, but he did try a lot in this game. Milan often had possession for long periods of time and that’s when you need your midfielders to be a bit more involved and creative.

Messias (4): It’s hard to put into words how poor his performance was today. It always looks quite promising when he gets on the ball but the outcome is almost always the same: loss of possession.

Diaz (5): Although he was quite nifty at times, Milan need him to contribute more especially at this stage of the season. A few nice flicks here and there matter little if he doesn’t provide any end-product.

Leao (5): You could argue that he was Milan’s main threat, often getting the best of his man, but it doesn’t really make that much of a difference if the final touch is poor. And that was the case tonight.

Giroud (5): He failed to get on the scoresheet when Milan needed him the most. He had one good header that was saved by the goalkeeper but not much else. He’s slightly saved ratings-wise by the fact that the delivery was incredibly poor.


Rebic (5): You can’t fault him for trying, but he did have a few opportunities where either the composure to score was lacking or he missed the cross. Not the revitalising performance we were hoping for.

Ibrahimovic (5.5): He was one of the better players off the bench as his contribution was very clear both inside and outside the box. But nothing came of it.

Kessie (5.5): Added a sense of stability, which was needed given that Milan left a lot of space for Bologna on the counters. Calm and composed on the ball, but nothing spectacular.

Florenzi (5): He had a few good crosses here and there but also some weird decisions in the final minutes of the game.

Tags AC Milan Bologna Player Ratings


  1. Bennacer was probably our best player in possession, I think you got that wrong, and Diaz was equally as bad as Messias. Those to are hopeless. Not even Bojan was as hopeless as Diaz.

    1. Totally agree on Bennacer, he had some great take aways and his mind set was shoot on goal, enough with the headers, and what do you expect from Giroud, he was marked by at least 3 to 4 players when “header” service came into the box. Diaz too “cute” with the ball, he is easily pushed off and directed by the defense where to go , a good 10 makes the defense react and and move to where he (10) is intending to go. Sorry still think Rebic should be at the 10, he has played there before as well. Diaz is also hindered by his height and cannot visually see opportunities.

  2. Bennacer 5.5? Why do you guys hate the little guy? He was our best player on the pitch.

    And why 5 for Brahim? He was god awful. 4.5 would be generous for him.

    1. Right, these guys do not like Benna lol. Benna had some good touches and always had the intelligence to make the right pass, it’s just a pity our attackers were so stationary, 0 creativity, especially from our No “10”

    2. For getting to play 98mins, Diaz actually deserves a rating of 2.5. He was the worst player. He was worse than Messias Jr.

  3. I think with some of these players we would do a lot better with if we had a coach with better ideas, like Patrick Vieira, look what he has done for crystal palace, they’re not nearly as good as us yet he has them playing hard and performing well week in week out with good tactics, we can’t play this style of football. It’s outdated.

  4. Milan 2022 = Mourinho’s Chelsea, long ball to Drogba/Giroud/Ibra this is such an old fashioned style of play and when it doesn’t work Pioli has no plan b

  5. Disagree on some of the ratings. Team was good overall from D to Mid, and midfield was not deserving of a 5.5 they were both 6+. Attack once again let us down. I’ll keep saying it each time but do we really think spending 30m on a centre back will solve our problems in games like these? Let’s face it when Milan is bad it’s 99% of the time in attack. We shouldn’t waste a dime in defense. Just resign Alessio and spend on RW, AM, and ST.

    1. not to mention disrespecting Kalulu and Tomori, and somewhat saying you have no confidence in Maignan as well. Cannot win if you do not score

  6. Agree w/ most comments so far.

    Bennacer was excellent; Tonali wasn’t great and when I saw Kessie coming in, I expected Pioli to sub Tonali not Bennacer. That was a wrong move. Bennacer won tackles, had 2 interceptions and created danger with excellent forward passes and dribbling.

    Kalulu defended well but his many crossing attempts were bad.

    Rebic added a lot with pressing, give and go’s, some good dangerous crosses and I thought his rating should’ve been better. It has never been clearer that he should start the game at RW and leave Messias on the bench. If we did, maybe we would’ve scored in the first half?

    Leao had a bad first half — couple bad give aways and bad decisions and had that one golden opportunity in middle of penalty area but he skied the ball way over the goal (and that was much easier than the one Rebic had to half volley and skied over). But Leao was much better in second half (but again didn’t get the shots on goal — he keeps missing the frame lately).

    Giroud had 3 good header shots but Skorupski made good saves. Ibra should’ve scored on his header. Rebic header was good and powerful but couldn’t quite steer it right or left and keeper pushed it over.

    1. Good analysis. I do differ on putting on Kessie. I personally think he should have left Bennacer and Tonali on as Bennacer was playing well and winning balls back and Tonali was still (although not peak fitness it seems today) the only one who delivered a few great crosses, one of which was our best chance with Ibra late on. It must be said, our attack simply isn’t good enough. The front 4 just do not produce and now that Leao is not playing how he was the first half of the season we are struggling. Last season we were Ibra dependent, this season we’re Leao dependent.

      The past 2 games we snuck by with great goals from Bennacer and Kalulu and while everyone was praising that all I was thinking is that it was highlighting a bigger issue… that our front 4 don’t produce nearly enough.

  7. I will say though, I think some of the comments were too harsh on Diaz — I’ve been very negative on him for months, of course; but today, he actually had one of his best games in a long time. He actually managed to stay on his feet in many situations where in recent months he would fall down easily like a house of cards. Also, he worked hard and won tackles and actually even at his short height, won some aerial balls. He created dangerous offense for us with some good dribbling and balls forward today.

    1. Totally agree ,this was one of his better games however is vision of the field and player movement is prohibitive do to his short stature, and when we are (other players) in front of goal SHOOT and quit dribbling ,he was very successful early this season and last season getting a alot of in the box rebounds and immediatly shooting on goal.

  8. Without saying much Giroud let us down today real bad he could not control one ball for himself all through his stay on the pitch the only ball he controlled was with his chest and it was in the middle of the field he was generally useless tru out the game only for the late header in the first half and for Diaz I think he had a decent game tonight and I can’t stop loving the pairing of tomo and kalulu just get a good striker even with this team we will flourish with a good striker at the elms not a bad game overall but tonali was quiet all day making benne move more around the park and I love the fact the armband was stripped off from the betrayals arm we can still make things happen tho. I hope and pray ibra is active till the end of the season cos I blv that will go along way for us cos we can’t depend on giroud

  9. The thing is, who cares if kessie is going to barce the guy should be playing every single game for the rest of the title race, he owes this to Milan, cuz I don’t know any other Milan midfielder who’s better than him, the next thing is play boy both rebic and leao he needs to be there he is a force Infront.

  10. Muhammed — I agree with you. Kessie should start at CAM over Diaz and Rebic over Messias. That would be our strongest starting 11. And then maybe we can score a goal in the first half and not have to be so hurried and frenzy in the second half when it’s 0-0 every game.

  11. Leao. Diaz. Rebic
    Kessie benecer

    Why changing it now he got us to champions league tell u wat, he will left a hole in Milans midfield, route 69 is. Moving to 79

    1. You remember we barely qualified for championship league with that…. and this year it’s been obvious Tonali has been our best midfielder overall and Bennacer has been rediscovering his form. That said, Kessie should play for Diaz as Brahim has been very poor the majority of the season besides the first few games. Then Brahim can come on as a late sub.

  12. Why did pioli taking Giroud off instead of diaz, with 2 bigman upfront milan have higher chance of winning a header, and the way milan play in the last couple of minutes is all cross

    1. totally agree, since Pioli seems to think that the only way to score in soccer is by headers, the game is called “foot”ball not “head”ball. Bennacer imo should have gotten a 6.5.

      1. If they just convert one of the chances they had and Milan wins that match Tonali and Bennacer get at least a 7.

  13. I can’t believe Daniel would be worse as a playmaker than Brahim, he looks possessed and tangles himself with cripwalks.

  14. You are very rude with Giroud, he didn’t get lot of opportunities but he did the job. Messias and Diaz can both leave the club with no regret, we are Milan, we need better players than those two. Kalulu and Tomori are solids as always.

    1. Agree, you cannot blame Giroud, he was marked with 3 or 4 players most of the time, AND everybody knows Pioli’s strategy (lets try a header), Diaz is too short (being serious here) and cannot see overall player movement, vision of the field, like a Bernardeschi or Pelligrini can.

  15. Seriously… Another game with no clue what the players in the attack should do. 5 Milan players run against 4 defenders and none of our players have a clue what will happen in 10 seconds. This is not right. Players just run to cover hundreds of meters for nothing. Waste of Energy. I don’t understand this.

  16. Milan need a real number 10 and a LWF the team as of now is good to go but not to the end dept of quality is needed,if it must be done it must be done well Maldini should sit up .

  17. Pili is bottling up again. Maybe winning trophies is not in his DNA.

    Questions: what was Pioli working on during the international break?

    Did he take time to study Bologna and figure out ways to neutralise and break them down?

    Psychologically, did he evaluate the fitness and mental strength of his team?

    This is not the time to try and revive anybody. Any player who is not up to it has to be ignored. Diaz is a bench player. That’s all that he’s good for. He may have been effective yesterday coming on in the second half against a tired defence.

    Rebic has not played much because of injury. He should have started on the left. Even if all he can do is last 60mins.

    Leão has been playing a lot and the pressure was building. He could been more effective from the bench. Watching the game and seeing what needs to be done would have great with his skillset.

    A 3-man midfield would have been okay. Even if you want to bench Kessie, you can play Krunic.

    Messias Jr may have been awful, but he wasn’t the worse than Diaz. Meanwhile, Messias could have been a better bench player. That means you start Saelemaekers.

  18. When we have good performances, we give all the praise to our attackers (especially Leao). When they struggle we blast them and focus on purchasing others to replace them. This is our second season under new direction, we have come very far and lets step back a moment from all the criticism and appreciate the team that Milan have built. I think the players would benefit more from our support at this stage of the season

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