Tops and flops as Giroud steps up for Milan in 2-1 win vs. Panathinaikos

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan concluded their pre-season tour with a win against Panathinaikos this evening, courtesy of a brace from Olivier Giroud. And in just over a week, they will take on Sampdoria in the first round of Serie A. 

As already stated, Giroud was the big hero for Milan this evening with two goals, securing what was a good win for confidence. In six pre-season games played, the Rossoneri never lost and conceded just two goals. Down below are the tops and flops for tonight’s game.


Davide Calabria: The Italian was very lively on the right-hand side and is looking better and better for each game that he plays, following his surgery in June. He bagged a nice assist for Giroud’s second goal with a perfectly placed cross.

He nearly got on the scoresheet himself as well, having made his way into the box. He forced the goalkeeper to a reflex save and showed that he can be a threat to the opponents when going forward.

Fikayo Tomori: It was another imposing display at the back for the Englishman this evening, making no mistakes in the defensive side of things. He also assisted Giroud’s first goal with a stunning long ball over the top, showing great awareness.

This past season, he left most of the passing (especially long balls) to Simon Kjaer and hopefully, we can see him do more himself this upcoming season. Today’s clash was a good indication that he will.

Olivier Giroud Milan celebrates after scoring a goal during AC Milan vs Panathinaikos FC, friendly football match in Trieste, Italy, August 14 2021 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xEttorexGriffonix/xIPAx/xx 0

Olivier Giroud: He was the big hero, as already mentioned, and it’s clear that Milan absolutely made the right decision to sign him from Chelsea. He hasn’t broken the No.9 curse just yet, but the signs are indeed promising.

In addition to the goals, he was also very important for the Rossoneri in the build-up phase with his hold-up play. He could, but the looks of it, give Zlatan Ibrahimovic a run for his money.

Honourable mentions: Sandro Tonali and Rafael Leao.


Ciprian Tatarusanu: The Romanian came on in the second half to replace Mike Maignan, who was a calm presence between the sticks. It didn’t go as well for Ciprian, though, as he made a huge mistake to gift Panathinaikos a goal.

He was way too slow with the ball and ending up passing it onto the opponent, leaving the latter with an open goal to aim at. He will want to forget tonight’s performance as the Milan fans aren’t exactly happy with his actions.

Alexis Saelemaekers: It wasn’t a horrible performance from the Belgian but he didn’t have a huge impact on the game. Weirdly enough, Samu Castillejo was able to create more in the time he got on the pitch.

He needs to improve his crossing as a few crossing attempts were really poor, fueling some doubt about his starting spot. With that said, we all know how good he can be and he just needs to hit top form.

Photo Spada - LaPresse August 14 , 2021 Trieste , Italy Soccer Season 2021-2022 - friendly match Nereo Rocco Stadium Milan vs Panathinaikos In the pic: Ante Rebic PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITAxFRAxCHN Copyright: xSpada/LaPressex

Ante Rebic: He got into some good positions from time to time and also had a few one-twos with his teammates. However, he failed to get on the scoresheet despite a few good chances to do so.

Furthermore, just like with Saelemaekers, his impact on the game wasn’t huge. It’s tough, of course, to look good when your forward colleague scores a brace in spectacular fashion, but still.

READ MORE – AC Milan 2-1 Panathinaikos: Giroud shines but Tatarusanu howler leaves sour taste

Tags AC Milan Ciprian Tatarusanu Olivier Giroud Panathinaikos


  1. Hate to go against the grain of a lot of people here but Saelemaekers is overrated. We need a quality RW. Saelemaekers is a good backup who can start some games but he’s not very creative, doesn’t have a great eye for goal and has average dribbling… he’s a backup with potential. Sorry.

  2. Tonight Tonali looked good, he’s improving. Leao is as clueless as ever though.

    We’re more than fine defensively, but we really need a playmaker and a right winger. They must be quality players. In my opinion we need two between Ziyech, Vlasic and Ilicic, doesn’t matter which two, but we definitely need them to be able to compete.

  3. From what we can see, Milan would be better with 4-2-3-1 with a play-maker rather than 4-4-2. With a very bright performance from Giroud, Milan still need to strengthening with high class playmaker and right winger.

        1. to have an even more sour taste in our mouths that was actually an AM position and quite often you saw him be in the playmaker role, albeit he did score like a RW (set piece, but big brain from him)

    1. Remember that, just because we were desperate to get a playmaker we sold Hauge. If we can play 4-4-2 (4-2-2-2) then he could have played on the left side today.

  4. You are really a funny Giroud hero hahahaha ..against Panathinaikos a team that is very weak and in the rank of Serie B. You are a very funny journalist when you conclude like that.Giroud is a slow and bad player.Rebic can not keep a single ball in possession for 5 seconds.Salamankers and Calabria were very bad that their Panathinaikos players were always fast. Milan seemed confused and disorganized for 15 minutes. I am afraid that the match against Samdoria will be very difficult because Milan showed against Nice and Valencia that they are not ready against slightly stronger teams. not good.

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