Player Ratings: Rennes 3-2 AC Milan (3-5 agg) – Jovic responds; Leao struggles

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan lost their clash against Stade Rennes on Thursday but advanced to the Europa League Round of 16 anyway, thanks to the big win in the first leg. Luka Jovic was one of the goalscorers tonight 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 (6): We can’t expect him to save the penalties (can we?) and he did make a few good stops during the game. Also solid with his passing, but he will be disappointed that the Rossoneri conceded so many goals.

Florenzi (6): The veteran did okay throughout the game and it was certainly enough to get a pass, even if his final action was a comical slip. Above all, he was calm in the defensive phase, as evidenced especially by a chest-down to Maignan towards the end.

Kjaer (6): We can say whatever we want about the penalty decision, but it was clumsy defending from the Dane to come in from behind like that. It was a shame as, aside from that, he was actually one of the better players on the pitch.

Gabbia (6): He wasn’t at fault for any of the goals and defended well throughout the game. As we have seen lately, he was strong in the duels and did what was necessary, really, as the goals conceded came from entirely different situations.

Hernandez (6.5): A strong defensive display, above all, but he also did well on occasion when driving forward with the ball. He didn’t have an in-form Leao to combine with tonight, but still managed to get an assist with a great cross for Jovic.

Bennacer (5.5): He clearly isn’t in good match fitness yet, with some really poor mistakes in possession tonight. But it’s not a disaster by any means, as he often gets the first move right and has the right idea for the final pass. It’s just the execution that is missing at the moment.

Reijnders (6): The Dutchman worked very hard in both phases from start to finish and that was important for Milan. He was also the only midfielder who dared to play some vertical pass, helping set up a few good chances.

Musah (5.5): His positioning was far from great on the first goal, trying to recover too late, and he wasn’t brilliant in possession either. He always shows glimpses of what he can do, in fairness, but it rarely anything else.

Pulisic (6): The American had a few very good runs in the first half and probably should have had a goal in the second, when Leao could have squared it. He was also set up by Jovic for a chance, but lost too much angle. In the end, indeed enough to get a pass here.

Jovic (7 – MOTM): He didn’t make up for the sending-off at the weekend, let us be clear, but it was still a good (and important) goal. He also should have had an assist, setting up Leao with a wonderful pass after a great first touch. And what can we say about the handball? It was such a natural movement and it never should have been a penalty. Let’s just leave it at that.

Leao (6): The goal obviously rescues his rating here, especially since it made the rest of the game a lot more comfortable for Milan. However, he was very poor aside from the goal, going back too many times, losing his 1v1 duels and missing some good chances. Actually, he’s on the brink of getting a 5.5 here (and it might be changed).


Loftus-Cheek (5.5): He had a few opportunities to burst forward with the ball, but never really succeeded with that.

Chukwueze (5.5): Poor cameo off the bench with no real impact on the game. There was space to counter, after all.

Okafor (5.5): Just like the other subs in the 61st minute, not enough shown.

Thiaw (N/A): We didn’t see enough to give him a rating, although it wasn’t worse than the Monza nightmare.

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

The manager

Pioli (5.5): The midfield tactics were a problem tonight, as Rennes found way too much space in those areas, but it’s hard to judge the manager for the rest. Two harsh penalties, one shot from outside the box, many squandered chances by Milan and so on.

Tags AC Milan AC Milan Player Ratings Luka Jovic Stade Rennes


    1. This forum should not be used for personal attacks. On the other hand,, there’s only a certain nr of replies allowed (some of the posts in the article you linked don’t have a reply button)

      That said, I’m not sure if I’m wasting time writing this (e.g. see previous reply from @MyKidPlayedSoccer).

      1. @MyKidPlayedSoccer is the best commenter on this page. I like his thoughts and he gives good insights that helps me understand the game better. 10 out of 10.

        1. Thanks gents that is very kind. Just hanging out trying to pick up a broader perspective.

          Best advice I ever got was to pick an Italian team and support them to learn tactics!

    2. I see what you are saying but please consider the gamesmanship of it.

      He has to say those things so Rennes must plan for all possibilities. Otherwise he gives them an advantage.

      To me Puli looked tired and RLC seemed the same for his time on the pitch.

  1. The aggregate score should have been 5-1 given that neither PK existed; they were made up by the Portuguese refereeing/VAR crew.

    Leão was eaten alive by Rennes’ defense; he is not at 100% physical form, with a recent calf injury; but his goal which he produced all on his own, does rescue his rating.

    Jovic again finishes well when he gets good service (Theo’s merit too).

    Overall, Rennes is really a very weak team; so this so-so display against them is not very reassuring when we know that much better teams are looming in the Europe League (Liverpool, Leverkusen, Atalanta). Still, we did more than enough to beat Rennes and it wasn’t much more comfortable exclusively because of the incompetent refereeing crew that wrongly assigned two PKs to Rennes.

    1. I thought the ref was soft too.

      I worry about Leao. Too many times in last three games he’s lost possession on the dribble to a specific toe poke.

      Seems like he’s Ben scouted and cracked.

      Anyone else seeing that?

  2. I’m just happy we went through I”m really happy that leao is making an impact again in terms of goals. Let’s just hope we don’t get drawn against Liverpool or leverkusen

  3. This team better hope it has a luck in the draw, just like last season, or they won’t go far. Pray you don’t get drawn vs Bayer Leverkusen because that might get embarrassing.
    People saying the penalties were soft, but if it was the other way around you will say they were clear penalties, which they were.
    SofaScore ratings have only Florenzi rated worse than Leao. That was awful performance by him. Even the goal he scored after missing so many 1v1 chances, was lucky that the ball bounced back to him after missing the first chance.
    Bennacer has no business playing up the pitch. The 1st goal came from his awful pass. Florenzi was livid with him.
    Gabbia continues to be the best defender, while Kjaer continues to have a brain fart every game.
    Even though Jovic scored and had a decent game, for me Pulisic was the MOTM.
    Let’s see what Pioli does on Sunday vs a coach that owns him.

    1. Agree on many things, incl your analysis of Leao.
      Unless our players step up and we make a significant upgrade in how we play quality-wise, I doubt we’ll go far in EL , whether we meet Leverkusen or not.

      Not sure if Gasperini owns Pioli, there have been cases where we dominated Atalanta like no other team, that said Atalanta and Lazio are two games that are very important for this season for many reasons.

  4. It must be said, it doesn’t even feel like a victory that we have gone through. Should never lose to Rennes let alone concede 3. What is going on with the discipline this year? Between reds and penalties I’ve never seen so many from a team. We concede way too many goals and pioli’s stubbornness to keep playing reijnders in a position where you need to defend. And guess what? He can’t defend!

    Leao’s performance once again was bad. I think pioli’s fate is sealed come end of the season and if by some miracle we do win the europa league he shouldn’t be here next season. Each game continues to get more and more frustrating

    1. “We concede way too many goals and pioli’s stubbornness to keep playing reijnders in a position where you need to defend. And guess what? He can’t defend!”

      Suggest a current Milan player for the role ..

      1. At least play Bennacer there. Ideally we should have someone like Ricci or Wieffer ,but pioli refuses to ask the management to sign a CDM

        1. Bennacer just came back from a loooong injury, nearly suffered a relapse too. he clearly doesn’t have full match sharpness.
          The fact is there’s currently no one in the team for that role. Gotta make do with what we have

        1. “Bennacer is a lot better in that role and yet bennacer played as the attacking mid?”

          Yep. It is baffling. Benny is the only midfielder who can defend at least a bit. That is on Pioli. Again.

    2. This blows my mind….. Leao clearly isn’t in peak form. We can all agree. But to call his performance bad? By what metric?

      Even by the metric that all understand, goals scored, he contributed. Are we just unhappy because he doesn’t score with every opportunity he gets? Let’s be honest here.

      Leao has always been mercurial. Up and down. On his good days we praise him. On his bad days instead of support, we bash him…

      Fickle crowd.

      1. Leao wasn’t bad, some people here just don’t like him, he is the most criticized player in a Milan jersey, yet we loose a lot more than we win without him

      2. I must say that he was listless on defence walking around more than running and when attacking was quite wasteful. His movements just looked slow to me leaving me to wonder whether he is really fit. I would argue and say he may have been the worst Milan player on the pitch tonight in spite of the goal. Definitely one of his bad days.

        He also gets more criticism than others because he contributes so little when not scoring or creating assists whereas the others at least contribute to the defensive phase of the game.

      3. Seems to be having a lot more bad games then he does good these days. Do you guys not see the constant ball losses on the 1v1s. Do you not see the poor decision making in his passing or crosses?do you not see how lazy he is and the only time he runs is when the ball is on his foot?we all know leao can be a great player but there’s no disguising how bad he has been.

        Why all of a sudden is everyone happy with how we play and how leao is performing? We haven’t looked good all season bar a few games!

        1. “Do you guys not see the constant ball losses on the 1v1s. Do you not see the poor decision making in his passing or crosses?do you not see how lazy he is and the only time he runs is when the ball is on his foot?we all know leao can be a great player but there’s no disguising how bad he has been.”

          I’ll answer for them. No, no they don’t. They are denialists. They will turn every rock they can find to find something positive to say about the player they idolize and adore. Saying anything negative about him is forbidden. And everyone who criticizes him is a hater. For sure.

          For them it’s OK to be invisible for 89 minutes and score a lucky goal and to lose 5-1 as “he did his job” and “you can’t expect him to carry the team every match” etc. 😀

  5. Speaking of the game, we always touch on what’s wrong first! In the game with Monza we concede 4 goals and the french manage to make 23 shots towards Mike tonight !!! Where’s the problem ?

  6. Most enjoyable loss of the week!

    If only we could start every game 3-0.

    I was hoping to see the team play with some swagger given our hefty lead but it was pretty labored.
    Leao’s confidence in front of goal is so low right now, he’s almost avoiding it.

    Bennacer is a wonderful player but he has some way to go to regain his sharpness, so many mistakes.
    I think Musah does a great amount of work and gets little credit.
    Jovic was a bright spot, leading the line and linking things up well. Almost got in another fight tho!

    With some work and time together the starting midfield and attack could be the way forward

    All in all an entertaining game that was consequence free

    1. I thought Bennacer was Milan’s best player in the first half with his performance nose diving after half-time (suggesting fitness issues). That said, several have said he was poor so am wondering if I missed something?

      1. I saw him doing good things at 3/4 speed. He would make a pass and make a run but every ball was out of reach or won by the defense.

        Your point out an endurance issue of how long he can go. I think I saw the explosive issue of how fast and sudden as well.

        Glad he is back and playing tho!

  7. Kjaer is a shadow of the player he once was and I think Tomori can’t come back soon enough. It was nice seeing Thiaw too. Rest assured once we recover these two we won’t be conceding much at all. Tomori and Thiaw are understated for their importance.

    I’d pair Thiaw and Gabbia right now

    1. I dont think the center pairings are the root cause of the problem. Yes, it is a problem without the starting CB but, we lack the line infront of the CB. Musah should be converted to a DM, he has strength, speed and grinta for that roll.

      We had the same problem with Tomori and Thiaw pairing as well.

      1. We’d be leaking even with Maldini & Nesta as the CBs as our midfielders couldn’t defend even if their lives depended on it and one of the wingers is walking on the pitch when the opponents have the ball.

  8. Missed big portions of the game, but you could clearly see two different Jovic in the first half and the second half.

    The players around him have a big impact on what he can produce and that is kinda expected from a striker.

    Happy that we are through, but it wont be any EL trophy this season as much as I would love us to reach it.

    1. Pioli always talking about having 22 ready starters without putting in the right measures to ensure that. If he rotates smartly, players will come in and out of the 11 without taking too much way from the team’s play.

  9. “Bennacer has no business playing up the pitch. The 1st goal came from his awful pass. Florenzi was livid with him.”
    I feel like the multiple injuries he suffered are starting to have an effect on him. He only came back recently but I feel he is very far from what he was in 2021 and 2022.
    And given how long they were absent, I’m afraid Kalulu and Tomori might not come to their best, really hope I’m wrong.
    @Admin: please fix this “comments too quickly” problem. It’s really annoying.

      1. Bennacer is always injured so nothing new here.
        Also, it would be nice if people kept the same energy they have for certain players, for everyone in the squad.
        Thiaw literally came back a week ago after being out for 3 months and he was killed by fans for his mistakes vs Monza. Bennacer came back from his injury on December 2nd, today is February 22nd and we are using his recent return from injury as an excuse.

        1. I’m not using his recent injury as an excuse. But I feel like he had an injury too many. Sooner or later a player who gets injured too often will see his performance decrease even if the injury is not recent. Just look at Ronaldo, Hazard, Neymar,…
          As for Thiaw, I’m willing to be patient with him, but it wasn’t the first time he was reckless, and the penalty was especially horrendous giving that he did 2 bad fools in less than 10 seconds.

        2. Even when he’s not 100% he looks defensively more reassuring than the likes of Reijnders or RLC or Adli healthy for that matter.

          But yes, he does need help, some defensive midfield muscle to help. Hopefully Musah can grow into that role.

  10. We really shouldn’t be losing to Rennes anyway you put it. We’re far superior to them. I guess the result also lets us know where we’re at too in this comp.
    Anyways let’s hope for a favourable draw

    1. Not to give an excuse to our team, but these penalties were a bit weird. Like Jovic’s was a handball but what he supposed to do ? He was running.
      Again, not an excuse.

      1. Yea I agree. Both were “weird” like you said. When I saw it, I thought they’re applying the letter of the law but from the perspective of playing football these are just really odd calls to make. I’m wondering what is Jovic supposed to do? Chop his hand off?? Disappear?? I dunno, it’s strange. But in one video it shows ball to hand and then ref adjudged intent afterwards.
        IMHO , anytime one is judging specifically handball for intent, they should review the video at normal speed. Slow motion tends to make one think that the player had more time to adjust than he really did. Imo Jovic, while his hand is barely/slightly outward, was moving towards becoming smaller as his hand were moving towards his body. Plus he was moving towards a block with his back towards ball. Both these things to me signal an unintended handball. Maybe I’ll have a look again but that’s from first take

  11. Blaming musah for the first goal? I would urge you to go back and watch again. Theo was the closest and just standing there like a statue not marking anyone and didn’t even move to try and close the man down while Musah scrambled from the right side to try and get there.
    Either way, the negative overreactions to a game where we started up 3-0 are laughable. The victory was never in doubt and obviously Milan would have played differently if the score was different. Just see the first game for an example and chill the f out. Bunch of whiny children on here.
    And when we beat Atalanta on the weekend they will still find something to complain about.

      1. Of course not. But my point is that even if we do, the same people will be in here complaining about something and making excuses as to why even tho they won it was still a bad performance and Pioli is terrible. There’s a certain bunch that have been rooting for the new ownership, new signings and Pioli to fail all season. You can tell because they get more angry when Milan win. And they are happy and gloating when Milan lose. But still call themselves Milan fans…

        1. Aren’t you the same @K that after every game last season came in here criticizing Tonali, and the ratings he was getting, even after games Milan won?
          Isn’t this hypocritical of you to now attack people that criticize, rightfully so, Pioli?
          The pot calling the kettle black.

          1. He must have sustained high levels of personal growth during the off season. Instead of working hard on the pitch he laid on the couch and battled his mental demons and returned victorious.

          2. Not really. Disagreeing with a player rating is one thing. Coming in here, trashing the team and the coach, acting like the sky is falling after you just moved through to the next round quite easily is another entirely. Like I said some people have ulterior motives and are hoping for Milan to fail.

  12. Yeah people keep talking about one of our players playing as a “regista” in our formation. Not sure why. Maybe people keep dreaming of the second coming of Pirlo. It’s not going to happen, at least it’s not going to be forced to happen. What we need more than anything is a bulldog. We need another Gattuso or a van Bommel (as it happens, MvB could also hit a mean pass). A type of player that is a lot easier to source. I would even think about redeveloping one of our young CBs into that role. We need a player who will play in front of the defence and stay there, as a blocker. Then we when we play 4-3-3 it will be more of a 4-1-2-3 (or even a 4-1-4-1), then a 4-2-1-3. The two mezzale will push forward and more centrally. Reijnders and RLC would excel in this role. It could even become a 3-4-3 in possession, with the defensive midfielder dropping in between the CBs and the wingbacks pushing up to midfield. This summer we need a striker, but also the best defensive take-no-prisoners midfielder we can find.

    1. Exactly and that’s what I’ve been stressing whole season from summer. We need a type of player who’ll help our defense and be that extra guy back there. A type of MvB / Busquets / Rodri. Even Pep plays a midfield of Rodri and Stones who’s naturally more of a CB. That way we can have all the runners and roamers we want in each side of midfield pressing.

  13. Pioli always talking about having 22 ready starters without putting in the right measures to ensure that. If he rotates smartly, players will come in and out of the 11 without taking too much way from the team’s play.

  14. This was a wet muck of a match. We gave up two stupid pens and that is becoming a routine thing which is very concerning. The weather was horrible and with our fatigued starters we made it without injury.

    Mike has faced so many pens this season I am starting to expect him to stop some of them. You can’t blame a keeper for pens but it is a mark of a top goalie to stop them.

    The backline looked iffy tonight. Gabbia was decent, Kjaer did a job but foolish on the penalty. Theo’s assist was a very good cross but he did not have much else to offer after that. I think that has some to do with Leao obviously not fit or wanting to risk injury given the playing surface with our 3-0 aggregate. Flo had a so so game but he did not do anything to cost us.

    The midfield got over run again. Musah should not be played so high up the field. He can dribble though traffic but he is also prone to turning the ball over so it’s not a strength and should only be done periodically and not as a main contribution. He needs to play with a defensive mindset and give up this mezzala dream at least until he shows he can keep the mid field balanced. Reijnders was everywhere but no where at the same time. He has the most touches by a player but you wouldn’t have known it by the meaningfulness of them. Bennacer was playing in a weird position. I am not sure why he drifted to the wing at times and got up field higher than Pulisic on occasion. For Benny recently coming back into the team from injury, AFCON, and the weather he played okay but I was hoping for better.

    The frontline was impacted by fatigue and weather. Leao looked like he was coasting a bit. Theo and Musah would give him the ball and he would recycle it back as if he did not want to attack. If the injury or the rain was the reason I get it and that’s probably why he was subbed out when he was. Pulisic looked pretty tired most of the match. For him I fear the weather affecting him the most. When I saw there was going to be rain I know Pulisic’s day was going to be harder. Jovic had a great finish on his goal and calmed down the stands so he should get credit for that. Overall, he had a decent game playing off his teammates and trying to get involved.

    The subs came on and none impressed but this may be due to Pioli’s instruction not to concede even more goals.

    Pioli got the result but our defensive problems remain just as they have all season long. No one seems to play with any urgency and it feels like the team is going through the motions. I don’t totally blame Pioli for this but it is his responsibility to motive and keep the team dialed in.

    1. This is something I do blame Pioli for. Defensive inattention. Often players seem confused as to who marks who. And often they don’t close the opposition down quick enough. This has been going on for a while now and is nowhere near a resolved issue…

      Sure starting CB’s are out but that doesn’t excuse the lack of a system to his defending. We badly need to resolve this.

    2. Ya know … Getting out of those conditions injury free. Yeah, I’ll take that and a ticket to the next round! Nice silver lining to call out!

  15. Leao probably caused me future heart damage tonight with how infuriating he was. Refused to .ake any right decisions and rating only gets saved cuz of a multiple delfection screw up disaster from the rennes defense. Pulisic and Jovic had every right to be angry. Kjaer is clearly just nit the same and needs to be on the bench. The midfield also has no real consistency outside of maybe reijnders. We really missing a creative AM and a defensive mid/ball winner. Pioli as always choosing bad lineups and poor tactically…

  16. Well that a blast!

    Lucky we had the comfortable lead.

    Great to see Jovic get on the scoresheet and thought he played quite well.

    I am never sure how people can stay mad at Leao….

    Other than the cross for the goal, Theo was a liability! I shouted at him a few times when he gave the ball away in our third.

    1. Most expect too much from him. I am not sure if there is some recency bias but I remember for the past several years saying shoot more Leao why are you passing so much and If you look at his passing stats you can see that he does pass and is at or near the top in many categories. Perhaps some have very high expectations and nothing less than world class performances every other match is not good enough. To each their own but I still think Leao is our best player.

  17. I think we can all see that since losing Kessie and Tonali and not replacing them our defence is completely unprotected. RLC is there for that to a degree, Christ, we even got rid of krunic

  18. Chukwueze and Okafor have not contributed much so far. They are worse than Messias. It’s a shame because Leao and Pulisic need the rest. A sluggish Leao is still contributing more than what Okafor can do.

    Also, the midfield are the weak link when defending. We are often leaving too many players open, hence conceding too many goals this season, especially recently we seems to be conceding around 2 goals per game.

  19. This one of the worst Milan I’ve seen in my life in terms of its defensive game. And this is true even if all our CBs are healthy. Mediocre CBs, and mostly very weak defensive coverage from the midfield. The writing was on the wall ever since preseason, and nobody should be surprised. And yes, Pioli after more than half a season hasn’t managed to fix virtually any of this.

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