Player Ratings: AC Milan 3-1 Genoa (AET) – Giroud and Leao crucial for Rossoneri

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan advanced to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia this evening but it wasn’t easy, as Genoa had a 1-0 lead for most of the game. Fortunately, the likes of Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao stepped up. 

Starting XI

Maignan (6.5): The goalkeeper made a few good stops this evening and he couldn’t really do much about the goal. He had a scary moment where he missed a corner, but other than that it was very solid.

Kalulu (6): It was a bit unusual to see him at right-back at first given his recent duties but it didn’t take long before he was back there, due to Tomori’s injury. It was a solid display from the youngster overall.

Gabbia (6): Just like his colleague, it was a solid display with some good moments. Milan’s defenders weren’t really tested that much apart from some moments in the first half, including the goal of course.

Tomori (N/A): He came off with an injury in the 24th minute and we can only hope that it isn’t too serious.

Hernandez (6.5): He didn’t look good at all defensively this evening, losing his man on Genoa’s goal, and it felt somewhat like a hangover display after two fantastic games. In the end, though, he did get two assists.

Krunic (5): It wasn’t a good evening for the Bosnian at all. Granted that the first half was extremely sloppy from everyone (subbed off in 62nd), he never seemed to find his position and had some poor moments.

Tonali (7): He really kept things ticking for Milan when the going got tough. His strength and vision for the game are really becoming key for the Rossoneri and it’s nice to see his development.

Messias (5): It wasn’t a good game for him at all with hardly any leverage on his man and several poor dribbling attempts. An evening to forget for him and he must improve to keep his starting spot.

Maldini (5.5): The youngster severely overplayed things at the start and it was frustrating to see. It did improve at the start of the second half with some nice dummies but it’s not strange that he was subbed off.

Rebic (5.5): Not a good night for the Croatian either, who apart from a few nice runs failed to have an impact on the game. This was even more noticeable when Leao took over the duties on the left.

Rafael Leao of AC Milan

Giroud (7): He scored what turned out to be an absolutely crucial goal with a sensational header into the top left corner. That’s exactly the type of goal Milan signed him for and once again, he got on the scoresheet.


Florenzi (6.5): He did well on the right-hand side and was an injection of energy for Milan this evening. His experience and quality is clearly something that is working out well for Rossoneri.

Bakayoko (6): He had a few moments with some wacky touches but at the end of the day, he made a lot of interceptions and helped keep the stability towards the end.

Leao (7.5 – MOTM): Just like against Roma, it was a splendid performance off the bench. The first thing he did was beating two Genoa men easily and that set the tone. The goal was a bit lucky, but equally stunning visually.

Diaz (5.5): He had one sequence at the end that was very impressive but his efforts were too poor this evening. He had a great chance to score after Saelemaekers set him up but he even failed to hit the target.

Saelemaekers (6.5): He perhaps should’ve scored earlier but his touch let him down. When he did score, however, everything was in its order and he might start over Messias next week. He also should’ve had an assist, as mentioned.

Roback (N/A): He made his official debut for the club, but only got a few minutes.

READ MORE – AC Milan 3-1 Genoa (AET): Leao stars as substitutes impress to complete comeback

Tags AC Milan Genoa Olivier Giroud Rafael Leao


  1. keo says:

    Despite the absence of Tomori and Kjaer in the last few games, it’s funny how the poorest arm of the team has been the RW and the AM/trequartista positions, and the Management is fixated on getting a short term fix for CB during this January transfer window. Absolutely Shocking!!!

    1. Joe101 says:

      it’s been 2 years now (and more than a handful of missed out transfers) since we struggle on the RW….just to add that to the perspective

      1. Chief says:

        Especially without Calabria, I say this with some thought ,in the fact that it is not only the player but the player forward or behind you, 1 + 1 = 3 ,Theo makes Leao better and Leao makes Theo better…..

    2. nyr2k2 says:

      Agree there needs to be additional focus beyond CB, but the options they have been linked with at CB are definitely not short term fixes.

    3. Kourosh says:

      Exactly. We need a Faivre kind of signing first and foremost. It should be top priority.

    4. Shal says:

      The last person showing at least something on RW was Suso lol. Who was pretty mediocre and predictable. It’s been almost a decade we struggle there.

      1. Adrian says:

        Suso was ok when we attack but garbage in defense. Poor Conti and Calabria allways 1 vs 2. Last good right winger i guess could be David Beckham 2009-2010.

    5. MBM says:

      Defences win championships so of course the priority is the defence. Weaknesses in midfield are much more expensive to address, besides, Milan don’t really have a problem scoring goals.

      1. keo says:

        That’s really funny

  2. Tony T says:

    Great tribute to Pop Smoke with that celebration. RIP. Forza milan

  3. DP says:

    Tonali is very good. He made key decisions that led to goals. But our corner kick game is weak af.

    Bakayoko: a 6 is charitable. He lacks intention.

    Leao is our most dangerous player. At this point, let him be himself.

    1. Chief says:

      first thing he does after an interception or pass is to try and dribble, he is not quick with his mind too much thinking… you say 6 is generous, better than last game, but I watch him, too indecisive, he immediately goes on defensive on balls he should get to ,afraid to be aggressive and lose balls to be safe than be agressive and maybe win balls. Term we use is “lazy player”

    2. bb says:

      Even with “corner kick game is weak af” we still have scored 4 goals from corners. That’s more than we did during the whole “deadball specialist”-Calhanoglu era. LOL.

      Those were awful corner kicks yesterday but still miles ahead of those of the Turk. Not missing him a single bit.

  4. DB says:

    Once Rebic is fit again, they should put him on the right side in place of Messias/Saelemakers. For Croatia in World Cup, Rebic and Perisic switched sides in middle of matches every match. He can play both sides and has pace and can cross effectively with both feet. The 3 fastest players on our team are Theo, Rebic and Leao — imagine all 3 of them on the field at same time and having both wingers be able to make runs in behind. Remember at Anfield Rebic and Leao speed on counterattack?

    1. Rosso says:

      I support ur opinion i also say this most of the time

  5. Nelli says:

    Bakayoko had and interesting game, in the defensive phase he was impressive but in possession he was really clumsy

    1. Ranajaya says:

      He was too slow to make a turn, that’s why he almost always caught by opponents on his back. I think he gained some weight from 2 years ago.
      His ability to disposses opponent on another level though. Pioli needs to instruct a player who can ease his duty distributing the ball

  6. Jimi says:

    It’s good to see Piatek back in Serie A with his gun

  7. Kourosh says:

    Theo was awesome. Another two assists to his name. He’s been fantastic since the turn of the year.

    Messias’ performance was his worst in the Milan shirt. Diaz is not starting material either. We need an attacking midfielder.

    Oh and Kalulu at only 20 is a gem!

  8. DB says:

    Once Rebic is fit, he should start on the right instead of Messias or Saelemakers. Having Leao on left where he’s most comfortable and Rebic on the right, and of course Theo at left back, we would have our 3 fastest players on the pitch at same time. The counterattack would be lethal. Remember Rebic and Leao at Anfield against Liverpool — the speed created problems. Messias and Saelemakers are too inconsistent.

  9. Shal says:

    I hope Tomori’s injury is not serious. We need him a lot in the upcoming clashes. Bakayoko, well, kinda feels like half of his brain is somewhere else. Too clumsy, not the same Bakayoko he used to be under Gattuso’s management.

  10. Chief says:

    Especially without Calabria, I say this with some thought ,in the fact that it is not only the player but the player forward or behind you, 1 + 1 = 3 ,Theo makes Leao better and Leao makes Theo better…..

    1. DP says:

      We miss Calabria on the attack. Without his decisive runs from the back our right side lags behind our left.

  11. keo says:

    Brahim Diaz always drifting and making passes to the LW, then runs into the middle…….lol. If the LW is choked, dude has no option but to do a back pass. I laughed so hard during the game, the boy has pretty much lost confidence in himself. If he gets dispossessed and shit doesn’t go his way, he starts complaining to the referee…. I’ve had enough guys.


  12. melcu says:

    Joke of the day by Pioli. Right side is not weaker then the left one. Theo + Leao = Florenzi + Messias (Saelemaekers)

    1. keo says:

      I watched read the interview, and I’m hoping he just said that for the press to chew on. Everyone in Serie A knows our RW is no threat. See how Genoa kept flooding the LW during yesterday night’s game.

      The earlier we give our opponents something to worry about on the right flank, the more robust our attacking options will be in our scudetto quest.

      Otherwise, we will continue being a one-trick pony all season.

    2. Ed3lm4n says:

      In attack the left side is superior but in defense the right side is better. We’ve scored but also conceded a lot of goals through the left side. Most people only look at the attacking game but Pioli is right when he says both sides are about equal when looking at the overall game. Every opponent knows they have to attack in the back of our left side. It’s good to see that Leao is putting in more defensive effort lately. He’s becoming a complete player.

  13. Denish Aketch says:

    Am good

  14. Manu says:

    We are underestimating how bad our midfield is without Tonali. Tonali actually was the one giving the most throughout all game

    I think people are underestimating how bad we’re going to be against Spezia without Tonali. Krunic, Balayoko and Diaz did bot provide any attacking help.

    1. bb says:

      I say: forget the midfield and just throw long balls the whole 90mins. That’s the only way Milan could get scoring chances. Who in midfield is going to produce them? Baka? Krunic? B*tch please… =D

      1. Milan from aus says:

        I sort of agree. Krunic or baka as cdm, saelamakers and rebic as cams might work

    2. BOIMAH Ponder says:

      Why we be without him

  15. Dennis De Moore says:

    Giroud does it again ..This man is sensational if he keeps fit and he will score vital goals ,he has also
    such awareness of others and can score with both feet as well as a great header of the ball .
    This team has got great young talent ,and they will get better ..Also a great manager with poli .
    This team will score goals ..

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