Player Ratings: Sassuolo 1-2 AC Milan – Captain steps up as several players impress

By Isak Möller -

Milan bounced back from two consecutive draws with a 2-1 win away at Sassuolo this afternoon, with goals from Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers. Down below are the player ratings for Stefano Pioli’s men. 

Starting XI

Donnarumma (7): Didn’t really have much to do this afternoon and made the necessary save. He couldn’t do much about the free-kick, as it was deflected off Hauge.

Calabria (6.5): Not his best outing in the attacking phase, that’s for sure, but he was still important for the Rossoneri at the back and at the start of the build-up. He’s still the No.1 choice for the right-back position.

Kalulu (7.5): No complaints about the Frenchman’s display this afternoon, as he looked much better in the aerial duels compared to the Genoa game. Was generally comfortable with the ball and almost helped keep a clean sheet.

 

Romagnoli (7.5 – MOTM): The captain was the true leader today as he helped Milan clear several good chances and really dominated that phase of the game. Had it not been for the foul on Boga, which lead to the goal, it would’ve been an 8.

REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY - DECEMBER 20: Alexis Saelemaekers of AC Milan celebrates with(l-r) Alessio Romagnoli , Theo Hernandez and Hakan Calhanoglu after scoring their team's second goal during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC Milan at Mapei Stadium - Citta del Tricolore on December 20, 2020 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Hernandez (7.5): You can’t stop the TGV! The Frenchman could have scored himself but unselfishly squared it to Saelemaekers after a bursting run. Could have done better on a few occasions as the final touch let him down, though.

Tonali (6.5): Was subbed off at half-time with a presumed issue and didn’t do a whole lot in the first half. He did what was required of him, though, and hopefully he can continue to build on his performances.

Kessie (7): The tank worked very hard in the midfield and recovered the ball several times for Milan. Unfortunately, he got booked and that means he will be suspended for Wednesday’s clash against Lazio.

Saelemaekers (7): Got on the scoresheet with what turned out to be a very important goal. Worked very hard on the right flank, as usual, and was comfortable on the ball. Had a chance to score a second but skied it.

Calhanoglu (7.5): Was the man behind Serie A’s fastest goal in history as he assisted Leao with a nice pass. Also got on target himself but the goal was overruled by VAR for a very narrow offside in the build-up.

Diaz (6): Looked okay this afternoon but the decision to sub him off was the right one. He gets lost a bit too much and he really needs to work on his strength.

REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY - DECEMBER 20: Rafael Leao of AC Milan celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC Milan at Mapei Stadium - Città del Tricolore on December 20, 2020 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Leao (7.5): Scored the first goal after just six seconds and thus responded to the criticism in style. Looked a bit lazy sometimes but then showed exactly why Milan signed him in the first place, using his pace and dribbling skills.

Substitutes

Krunic (6): Came on to replace Tonali and did an okay job. Had a few poor passes but also did well on a few occasions. He’s not good enough to fight for a starting spot, but against Lazio he will have to start due to Kessie’s suspension.

Hauge (5.5): His schoolboy error resulted in Sassuolo’s goal, just as it looked like Milan would get a clean sheet. Jumped away from the wall and thus left a big gap, and also deflected the shot with his head to completely fool Donnarumma.

Castillejo (N/A): Came on in the 78th minute and although he had a few touches, it wasn’t enough to give him a rating.

Maldini (N/A): Came on with four minutes to go. Not enough to give him a rating.

READ MORE: Tonali forced off at half-time in Sassuolo game – an update on his condition

Tags AC Milan Sassuolo Serie A