Player Ratings: AC Milan 0-0 Inter – Kalulu shines off the bench; Saelemaekers wasteful

By Isak Möller -

Despite a plethora of chances, AC Milan failed to find the back of the net in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter this evening. Down below are the player ratings of the Rossoneri. 

Starting XI

Maignan (6): He wasn’t called into action that many times but when he was, he did really well. His distribution was also very good this evening and you can’t fault him for his performance.

Florenzi (6): His experience was seen on many occasions and unlike when Calabria plays, we saw a lot of balls in behind the defence. Almost every time, the Roma loanee was successful with those. In addition, he did well in defence.

Tomori (6.5): He kept the Inter attackers very quiet this evening and didn’t make any mistakes in his defensive duties. He was also solid when it came to the build-up phase, not afraid to his use left foot either.

Romagnoli (N/A): He was subbed off after just 26 minutes due to an injury and that’s why he hasn’t been given a rating. The first reports suggest that it’s a muscular injury.

Hernandez (6): It’s tough to assess his performance as while he did have a few good runs on the left flank, he wasn’t that involved when looking at the game as a whole. But defensively he kept Dumfries quiet and that could prove very important for the second leg.

Bennacer (5.5): Don’t get me wrong, overall, the midfielder did what was required of him. He could have improved his rating with more precise passing, though, as some good opportunities were wasted because of the pass being just a tad too short or long. They got there, but could have been better.

Kessie (6): There has been a lot of criticism for this man in the last few weeks and while it may be justified for the contractual situation, he has done quite well on the pitch lately. Tonight was another imposing performance and his passing was also solid.

Saelemaekers (5): The youngster had two very good opportunities to give Milan the lead but his finishing simply wasn’t good enough. It was painfully clear tonight that he isn’t very prolific and he topped that off with a few poor crosses.

Krunic (5.5): Most of the fans will say that he didn’t really do that much and while that was true in the attacking phase, he was very important in the defensive one. He kept Brozovic very quiet and if he had just been a bit more composed on the ball, the rating would have been higher.

Leao (6): When he gets going, it’s impossible to stop him. He had a few good runs and one good effort that was saved by Handanovic. He kind of faded and it was right to take him off in the end, but it’s also clear he’s a big threat.

Giroud (6): He just about gets a six for this as when he did get into good positions, he was mostly let down by his teammates. Either the passes to him were poor, or his teammates failed to convert his passes (that were good, to be honest).


Kalulu (6.5): He was really good, coming off the bench to replace the injured Romagnoli. He kept Dzeko from scoring an easy tap-in with a lovely last-minute interception and also showed off his skills when driving forward with the ball.

Rebic (5): Once again, his display off the bench can be summarised as many sloppy passes and just an overall sense of being really out of form. He just needs to find that one elusive goal or assist.

Messias (6): He did well when in possession and tried his luck with a curler that went wide. With a bit more time, perhaps he would have been able to create something dangerous.

Diaz (6): It was yet another good performance against Inter off the bench, as (perhaps due to the tiredness of Inter) he was able to win some challenges and set up some chances.

Calabria (N/A): He didn’t play enough to get a rating.

READ MORE – AC Milan 0-0 Inter: Wasteful Rossoneri held to a draw in first leg of semi-final

Tags AC Milan Fikayo Tomori Inter Pierre Kalulu


  1. Well, same old story. It’s always going to be difficult without a creative #10 and RW.

    Pioli probably reacted to the criticism of the LW dependency, as we saw more balls thrusted to the RW tonight, albeit with some wasteful crosses and final touches from Salemakeers.

    We need away goals going into the second leg, and it was good enough for our defence to peg Inter bag all through the game. Florenzi is spectacular, he kept Peresic at bay all game. Good to see the Right back position is well fortified.

    As for Theo and Dumfries. Theo of course came out on top again. It is gradually becoming a fierce rivalry between those too and they might want to watch it, the IFF will have eyes on them in every derby…..Lol.

    Our double pivot had a good game today as well. Only problem was our finishing, grossly wasteful and it was dreadful to watch. No words for Lord Krunic, #10 is not his position. Giroud could have finished better on one than one occasion, same for Leao.

    Our subs came off the bench with energy and still couldn’t change the game. Maybe Rebic needs to start playing from the start. He needs enough momentum to effect games properly.

    It’s painful to see Maldini and Massara in the stands every game, watching our defence but in good shifts, and still find ways to bring in more defenders, when the attacking third is clearly where our problems lie.

    Manageable result for the team today, considering we played better. Lets hope for a better second leg. Forza Milan!!!

    1. agree Keo on all you wrote… especially want to note the double pivot. Bennacer getting only a 5.5 is ridiculous — he made several spectacular tackles, not just “good” tackles, taking the ball away from very good Inter players.
      And Kessie had one of his best games all season. All of his touches were perfect — he received difficult passes softly; his first touches took him away frim Inter players, he made many excellent passes guiding his teammates forward into open and dangerous places.

  2. We need a top level number 10 more than a center back.

    If Inter keeps platings this way, we can win the league as well.

  3. Biggest problem is the No10 spot, even bringing in Barak from Verona would’ve helped for cheap, he’s strong and can run with the ball, but playing Kessie, Diaz and Krunic there is absolutely pointless, forget about signing Botman, get us a proper No10

  4. IDK I thought tactically everyone played well and the Florenzi and Saelemaekers combination looked promising enough. It’s tough to win without finishing and that’s what’s holding Milan back.
    Saelemaekers needs to spend all his days practicing that final touch and if he can improve he’s better suited for a deeper RW in a 4-4-2.

  5. What game did you watch?

    Florenzi – He was magnificent, he was a 7

    Maignan – just because he didn’t need to do much 6

    Tomori – he is back and he is beautiful easy 6.5

    Hernandez – solid defense, but not much in the offense 6

    Bennacer – he was better than Kessie in any way shape or form, he was at least 6.5

    Kessie – finally a semi decent performance, 6 is spot on

    Saladmaker – just bad, and yeah 5 it is.

    Krunic – better than Saladmaker, which is not that difficult, but still worthy of 5.5

    Leao – way better than you give him credit, at least 6.5. Even though he didn’t score, still our best forward on the pitch.

    Giroud – now there is another 5.5. I’m not sure he even showed up for this game.

    Kalulu – in the absence of Simon, he should be the starter not Cromagnoni. 6.5 without breaking a sweat.

    Rebic – missing playtime and most of his brain apparently. He is currently the worst thing on the pitch and we had Saladmaker there at one point. 3 is generous.

    Messias – meh, one dimensional, boring, 6 because he was better than Rade.

    Diaz – Someone that should be leading our attack, distributing the ball, assisting, creating chances… He does none of it. Slightly betterer than Rade, still not worth waring number 10. One slim 6

    1. Well, but you know how the ratings are given: if we win, everybody gets a 6+ or 7; if we do not win, the players are not appreciated.

  6. I wouldn’t call Bennacer dazzling tonight, but he was most definitely better than Kessie, and I think Florenzi deserved a slightly higher score. Kalulu is amazing, he plays with such confidence and personality in difficult situations despite his age, some older players could learn a few things from him.

  7. shiva, i agree with most of what you said; but will disagree with your negativity on Giroud. He got poor service from his teammates (Saele and Messias overhit or mishit crosses/passes over and over and after they were subbed on Rebic and Calabria misplaced passes to Giroud too).

    Giroud’s hold up play was good and he received passes well. Once a bit after the 60 min mark, he beautifully received a pass as his shirt was being pulled by de Vrij just outside the box/semicircle and SOMEHOW the stupid official called a foul on Giroud!

    Also, his layoff passes on several occasions were expertly done but Saele and others couldn’t find a way through traffic to finish with composure.

    Lastly, he actually even tracked back to help defending on many occasions being a second Milan player to double-team on the likes of Barella, Brozo, Calhanoglu and forced bad passes and turnovers by Inter. I thought Giroud couldn’t have really done any better than he did given the lack of service.

    1. And yes, I agree Kalulu should start over Romagnoli. I wrote that in the post-match ratings of the Udinese draw. Kalulu is simply better, more pace, better anticipation, better passing too actually. Earlier this year, I would’ve said Kalulu’s passing was worse than Romagnoli; but he has really improved in that department as well. Kudos to Kalulu.

    2. You’re right, I just come to expect more from him. I guess without a proper captain, Romagnoli just ain’t it, and with no Ibra & Simon, we are lacking a proper leader on the field and I keep hoping he steps up.

      I guess he was always a starlet but never someone to carry the entire team on his shoulders.

      We need to give the band to Theo or Tonali. Earlier I would have said Calabria, but he is not his old self yet.

  8. In general it was a great game on effort. Every player hustle except Leao. Milan created the chances so the goals it just a matter of time & yes more skill clinical players with hunger to make history with AC Milan.

  9. The Kessie hate is palpable. Even when he plays well ppl still negative. Such a horrible environment. All this because he doesn’t want to sign, it doesn’t mean he’s whack
    Bennacer did so poorly I. The first half, but he doesn’t have contract issues so he’s ok. I’ll wait for when Leap doesn’t sign his contract to see if his performances “drop” from these “fans”

  10. Several times, Poli keep subtitles Rebic for Leao and which that support not be….. Playing of Leao full time can still bring a goal to the net than this useless Rebic

  11. Man everyone going to completely glaze over the fact Florenzi headed the ball back into the box to put Magnian into a dangerous position almost hurting his wrist again.
    Dude blazes forward with trash crosses and shots into the stands. What games are you watching? Thank god Calabria is the normal starter.

    1. It’s not the first time I’ve seen Flore making those nonchalant header passes to GK… But other than that he was pretty good imo.

  12. Again lord saelemaker never make happy ending in match. Shooting weak,crossing weak , don’t have speed . If this player in Guardiola disposal , he Will throw lord saele to Primavera. It is better sell him in summer with castilejo to make room for new RW quaility starter. Saele crossing to Giroud are just like a joke , did he think striker can reach crossing so high for heading?

    1. Why is it that these refs don’t favour AC Milan
      This time a penalty not given
      What do they do on the field and VAR?

      SeriaA is becoming a joke

  13. So Messias was one of our best players according to this? I must have been watching some different game. One of the worst players along with Rade and Rebic. All very wastful. Salemakers also had a poor game with terrible finishing and crossing, but he was useful in pressing and good in buildup.

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