Milan secured a hard-fought point at Napoli on Sunday night as we earned a 2-2 draw despite a string of below-par performances from several important individuals.
Theo Hernandez gave us the lead in the first half, but the Partenopei were undoubtedly the better side and were more threatening as they eventually turned things around and went ahead on the hour mark.
Franck Kessie converted from the penalty spot to secure a share of the spoils, and it was arguably a fair result as both sides battled hard and had periods in the game where they were on top.
AC Milan player ratings vs Napoli…
Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6.5 – His distribution was sketchy at times, but he produced several decisive saves in the first half to keep us in the game. Will be disappointed not to have done better on the two goals, but while he did well to even keep the initial shot out for the first, replays showed a deflection complicated his efforts for the second.
Andrea Conti, 5 – A real step back this weekend as after showing improvement in recent weeks, he looked vulnerable and shaky defensively throughout and was often caught out of position down the right side.
Simon Kjaer, 6.5 – Another solid display as the Dane went about his business with minimal fuss and cleared up danger efficiently. Was the most impressive in the backline as others struggled.
Alessio Romagnoli, 5.5 – Could have done better to prevent both goals and so given they ended up being decisive moments in the encounter, he gets marked down as he wasn’t quite at his best in identifying the threat and snuffing it out.
Theo Hernandez, 6.5 – Still needs to improve defensively as Jose Callejon’s movement and cleverness did test him at times, but he put in a decent performance and scored a brilliant goal as his finish was top class to break the deadlock and put us ahead.
Franck Kessie, 6.5 – Showed unwavering focus to wait so long before putting his penalty away with superb accuracy. That said, Napoli really outplayed us in midfield at times as we struggled to deny them space between the defence and our midfield two. That led to a lot of chasing and being picked off in our third, but he stayed resolute throughout.
Ismael Bennacer, 6 – Struggled as well in the first half as Napoli found pockets of space in front of the defence, but grew into it and started to have a more positive influence after the break. Not quite at his best, but still important nonetheless in ensuring we took a point.
Lucas Paqueta, 5 – In fairness, it was a poor decision to play him out wide again having seen him struggle against Juan Cuadrado last time out against Juventus. This time he had his hands full with Mario Rui, and he had little to no impact in an attacking sense as he was sloppy in possession too. Pioli surely must play him through the middle to get the best out of him or risk seeing his confidence and belief disappear again after a recent positive impact.
Ante Rebic, 6.5 – Never stopped pressing and chasing down Napoli players as his work ethic is spot on. Also provided the assist for Hernandez’s goal as he had a positive influence on the clash despite not being able to continue his excellent goalscoring form.
Hakan Calhanoglu, 5 – Similarly to Paqueta, had no real influence in our attacking play as he was sluggish and wasteful on the ball, while he spent most of his time trying to win possession back. Hooked on the hour mark and will need to bounce back with a strong display vs Parma to silence his detractors.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 5 – Showed glimpses of quality, but Pioli and Milan played into Napoli’s strengths as the Swede was outmuscled and marked out of the game by Kalidou Koulibaly and Nikola Maksimovic. Not the right game to make the most of his class as it certainly wasn’t one of his better displays since January, and so Pioli needs to be careful when picking games for him to start in.
Alexis Saelemaekers, 5 – Always puts the effort in and gave us what we needed down the right flank to keep Napoli quieter, but then ruined his night by picking up two quick yellow cards to get sent off.
Giacomo Bonaventura, 6 – Intelligent influence on proceedings after his introduction, capped off by winning the penalty which led to the equaliser. His experience and tactical know-how are still vital.
Rafael Leao, 5.5 – Threatened on a few occasions, but Pioli could still be heard constantly urging and encouraging him to work harder off the ball. That’s been the case on countless occasions now and something still isn’t getting through. It will continue to cost him a place in the starting XI if he doesn’t change his attitude towards defensive work and pressing.
Rade Krunic, N/A