Milan saw off Roma at San Siro on Sunday in a 2-0 win as we picked up three important points in the ongoing battle for European qualification this season.
Goals from Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu sealed the victory, while there were a number of important displays across the pitch to ensure we came out on top.
However, there is no doubt that our substitutions had an important influence on the outcome, with Milan boss Stefano Pioli certainly getting his decisions right as his changes allowed us to finish strong and secure the win.
Milan player ratings vs Roma…
Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6 – Once again didn’t have much to do as his defence kept things tight, perhaps with the help of his organising skills, while he commanded his box well and was reliable when called upon.
Andrea Conti, 6.5 – Performed well down the right flank as he kept Justin Kluivert quiet and made some key interventions when defending at the back post, while he also offered us something going forward to pin Leonardo Spinazzola back.
Simon Kjaer, 7 – Brilliant display and as noted before the game, it was imperative he played after his knock at Lecce as he was an ideal defender to match up with Edin Dzeko, who was quiet for most of the game. Also impressed with his distribution out from the back.
Alessio Romagnoli, 6.5 – Lost Dzeko for the big chance Roma had in the first half, but that aside, he was equally as solid in the heart of the backline to limit Roma’s attacking threat.
Theo Hernandez, 6 – Did well to win the penalty and didn’t look too troubled defensively, but he’s still lacking that sharpness and explosiveness that made him such a threat going forward before the suspension of the season.
Franck Kessie, 6.5 – Kessie is really starting to settle in the two-man midfield alongside Ismael Bennacer, as his role in this formation gets the best out of him. He showed tenacity, combativeness and physicality to help us win the midfield battle and his consistency is starting to impress.
Ismael Bennacer, 6.5 – Always on hand to sweep up in front of the defence as he made many interceptions, and while his passing wasn’t quite as accurate and sharp as we’ve become used to, he was still important with his energy and work rate in midfield to help us win that battle.
Samu Castillejo, 5.5 – As expected, he worked hard for the team and helped us win back possession quickly in Roma’s half on various occasions. However, he wasn’t quite at it in an attacking sense as he was replaced before the hour mark after a relatively disappointing performance given how well he did at Lecce.
Giacomo Bonaventura, 5 – A real struggle for the stalwart who wasn’t in the game for the most part as he wasn’t able to get on the ball and show his quality. Also wasted a good chance in the first half, and was duly substituted in the 54th minute as he’ll be disappointed he couldn’t follow up his display last time out.
Hakan Calhanoglu, 6.5 – Missed a big chance in the first half and struggled to get into the game in the opening 45 minutes, but he improved after the break and became more of a threat. Wrapped things up with a brilliant penalty and so gets bumped up for finishing strong like the team as a whole.
Ante Rebic, 7 – It would have been a difficult game for any lone frontman, but Rebic never stopped running, closing down and trying to trouble the Roma backline with his movement. Was rewarded for pouncing on a stray pass to intercept in the build up to the first goal which he scored, as he showed great goalscoring instinct to be on hand to smash home his finish at the second time of asking.
While he isn’t at his level and can’t be compared, Rebic is almost playing a Roberto Firmino-esque role given how he presses from the front and sets the tone for the team with his defensive work, and while he is scoring important goals, he is also capable of dropping back and creating a diamond in attack which allows others to be more threatening.
Alexis Saelemaekers, 6.5 – Perhaps still lacking a bit of quality on the ball, but his energy and directness helped pick up the tempo from a Milan perspective and he took advantage as the game opened up. Kept the move alive in the build up to the first goal and so he can be happy with his impact.
Lucas Paqueta, 6.5 – Similarly to Saelemaekers, he made a big difference off the bench as the pace of our play improved after his introduction as he looked dangerous finding pockets of space between Roma’s midfield and defence. Was heavily involved in the first goal and he certainly looked much more comfortable as a playmaker through the middle behind the striker.
Rafael Leao, N/A.