Player Ratings: Salernitana 1-2 AC Milan – Leao and Tonali shine; two flops

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan clinched all three points against Salernitana and thus started the new year in the best way possible. Several of the Rossoneri players did well and down below are the ratings for the whole team.

Starting XI

Tatarusanu (6): Salernitana had a whopping zero shots on target up until their only goal of the game and that says a lot about what the Romanian had to do. He was better in the air and in his distribution though, in fairness.

Calabria (6.5): It was a big difference for Milan to have him on the right-hand side. He sometimes made the wrong decision, which is to be expected after such a long absence, but he also did a lot of stuff really well.

Kalulu (5.5): A bit disappointing from him today with too many mistakes and wrong decisions made. On Salernitana’s goal, he seemingly forgot he had moved out to right-back as Bonazzoli was able to get too much space.

Tomori (6.5): A very strong display from the Englishman today with several good tackles (especially one in the last second) and many recoveries. He almost had a goal as well.

Hernandez (6): Decent from the big man on the left but not much more than that. You would perhaps expect him to be more involved in attack but Tonali’s position, and Leao’s brilliance, didn’t always allow that.

Bennacer (6.5): A key player for Milan especially in the defensive phase today. He was everywhere and did his best to clean up for the Rossoneri, although he also committed a few mistakes here and there.

Tonali (7.5): Brilliant ball to pick out Leao for the first goal and he did really well to score himself. A leading display from him and hopefully, he can build on this and continue to increase his point-tally.

Saelemaekers (6.5): He did well today with a couple of good moves, always comfortable in possession and making the most of the open space. Just needs that little extra to really shine.

Diaz (6): A good start to the game from him but he faded a bit as it went on. In fairness, he did get the assist for Tonali’s strike.

Leao (7): A great goal to start the game and he was always a threat to the Salernitana defence. The only complaint one can have is that he sometimes takes things too far, but there’s no doubt he’s a player Milan cannot replace.

Giroud (5.5): He can do so much better and we all know it. He can be given the benefit of the doubt on some of those chances, as Ochoa responded well, but he really should have got at least one goal.


De Ketelaere (6): A positive day for him as he did well on more than one occasion. He had two great strikes that, if it hadn’t been for Ochoa, probably would have ended up in the back of the net normally.

Gabbia (6): Came in and won the ball back immediately. He was useful in the air towards the end when Salernitana tried hard.

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

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

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao Salernitana Sandro Tonali


  1. Imho all Milan players played well and we could win big but Ochoa played amazing blocking all those shots like he’s playing in World Cup Final lol.

    Next is Roma.

    1. By the end of the match I had mixed feelings. Don’t know if that was a good performance or bad. At least we made chances but it’s a fact that a match that should’ve ended 0-7 ended 1-2 !!

      Ochoa was great but our finishing was disastrous. Can’t be missing all those chances. After those poor friendly displays, I’ll take this win though.

      1. It was a good performance and most of the finishing was well done.

        But Ochoa played really amazing. He already proof it when Salernitana draw 2-2 against Juve, won 3-1 against Lazio, and only lost 1-0 against Roma and 2-0 against Inter.

        Give credit where credit is due.

        1. Ochoa had a superb day. But half of the great saves were shot directly at his feet without him even realizing it until the ball had rebounded away. But good GKs have good luck too.

          It was more of “poor finishing” than “a superb goalie”. But this or that, the fact is that Milan needs to start killing these games when they have the chance. It wasn’t that far fetched that Salernitana would have equalized too.

          1. “No. Those are superb saves. Most of the shoots didn’t aimed directly at his feet. Did you even watch the match?”

            I did. I don’t count shots that are shot directly at the keeper so he doesn’t have to even react as a superb save. And he did save a couple (e.g. Leao’s 1-on-1) with his foot stuck on the ground. Even I would have saved it if I were in the same exact position as the ball had already hit him when he started to react.

          2. Ehm… Let me rephrase that: “I HOPE you can do better than that.” because that was lame effort. I’m not going to bet on that though.

  2. Without Leao, Theo and Giroud we become an average side, but I guess that’s true of our competition too if we take away three of their stars.

    Tonali was MotM. Him and Bennacer are solid players.

  3. Very good performance, apart from the last 10 minutes. A lot of clear goal chances were created but our players were wasteful.
    This was Rafael Leao’s most complete game as a Milan player. Engaged in the game all throughout the 98 minutes offensively and defensively.
    Very good game by Tonali offensively and Bennacer defensively.
    I’m glad Saelemaekers wasn’t the one blamed for the goal. Kalulu had a great start to the season, but since the renewal his form has dropped.
    Positive display by CDK, who had 2 great chances who were saved by Ochoa.
    Ochoa, what a GK. If it wasn’t for him Milan would have scored 6,7 goals.
    Should have put the game away but still managed to escape with 3 points.
    On to Roma

  4. Imo Diaz was the worst, did more harm than good by ruining Tomori’s goal. His assist was routine play.

    Unfortunately De Ketelaere is currently worse than him, so we’re basically stuck between rock and hard place.

  5. “Flops” is a harsh word. Especially Giroud as part of a forward line that made so many chances.

    Both central midfielders were excellent.

  6. Basically everybody did well except for Tata. I don’t much agree with the problems reported by the article’s author and by the commentators here. A couple of mistakes here and there are unavoidable but everybody including the subs did what was expected of them.

    We had a great team of 10 guys facing a world-class goalie who avoided a humiliating large score, and a decent team of 10 guys facing a bad goalie who ate a goal in the only on-target shot he faced. So, our defense avoided on-target shots for almost the whole game, and our offense did manage to best a world-class goalie twice, securing the 3 points.

    Good to see Calabria back and doing well. Tonali, what a game! Tomori, what a game! Avoided two goals by Salernitana and almost scored. Rafa, what a game! Played very well the whole match. Brahim did well too despite the off-side. De Ketelaere had his best game for Milan so far with good touches and deserved to score; froze in one opportunity, was stopped by Uchoa later. Giroud deserved a score too.

    Other than getting Maignan back, this is the Milan we want to see; this is the Milan that did great in the last six goals of last season. The break/rest was good for us. Now let’s hope the injury bug doesn’t prevent us from having a great second half of the season. Let’s also hope that Napoli starts faltering. Today they have Inter, so, some help that they will drop points.

    Mission accomplished today, getting two goals past a great goalie. We won’t be facing a world-class goalie every week so this was a great start to the second half of the season, after the concerning disasters of the friendlies.

    It goes to say that friendlies are friendlies and we can’t read too much from them. We faced some world-class teams in the friendlies and we were rusty; now we faced a good mid-table team with a superb goalie and still got the 3 points. I’m encouraged by our performance today.

  7. We made Ochoa a fantastic goalkeeper today even though he is ,but Milan could have won the game by a cricket score line.Very very wasteful in the game.

  8. A good win for the team but same old ways, I don’t understand not killing the game off when had the chance, the frontline had to make the defence and midfield pair work extra.

  9. We are the Champions but playing like an inferior team against salernitana, wtf is that wasting time at injury, and it’s not even close to effective,

  10. Giroud should’ve had at least 2 goals today. Poor finishing. Kalulu is becoming a problem. He doesn’t mark, he just chases the ball like a ten year old. Luckily Tomori bailed him out when Kalulu let his man left his man in on goal to go chase the ball. Everyone else played well, but poor finishing made this a much closer game than it should have been.

  11. About Leão haters, they simply don’t understand anything about football or else they live, I don’t know, in Uranus. The board really needs to do its utmost to keep him at the club.

    1. Haters gonna hate bro. They don’t care if Leao scored 30 goals and 30 assist in a season. They will complaint and moan like b*tches that the guy is lazy and useless.

      1. Are you serious? If he scores 30 and assists 30 he will win the balon d’or. The criticism comes from having an anonymous performance after a top performance. In other words he needs to find consistency. Even the commentator said that on TV during the game. It’s not a big ask for a player looking to be the highest paid on the team and one of the highest in the league.

        1. He played consistently this season. When he didn’t scored a goal or assist, he made key pass that leads to a goal. But the haters still came out like rabies dogs, complaining why he didn’t do this or that and claim he’s lazy / useless.

          This is why i fvckin hate clueless spectators especially the ones who are ignorant and don’t want learn about tactics, formation, and players roles.

    2. All the Leoa-haters have been quiet. So why provoke them? To feel good about yourself as you are the only one that sees the potential in him? LOL.

  12. Our attack is still bad, always has been. We live off of Leao and Giroud. The RW and AM are hindrances and need major upgrading and we need a ST to replace Giroud next season as we can’t rely on him to stay healthy all season due to age.

    Best CB pairing this season is Tomori-Gabbia. It just is. Would like to see more time sharing with Kalulu to let Gabbia develop a bit. Would be nice if he continues his trajectory and we end up with 3 solid CB’s. Then we won’t need to spend a bunch on another CB.

    Tonali and Bennacer are just too important for us, we need a 3rd quality midfielder who can take over for either when needed.

    1. Gabbia is a bum. He should never be in the starting lineup unless it’s a less important cup game or something.

  13. Tonali had a good first 20 minutes…..and that’s it. Leao is the game-changer. Without him, we are garbage. Full stop. Bennacer was the best player today, didn’t put a foot wrong apart from the bad piss in the first minute. Won every ball, very few bad passes, carried the ball well.

  14. “Tonali had a good first 20 minutes…..and that’s it.”

    You don’t need to lie and just say you only watch the replay. Making false statement like this only made you looks like a fool.

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