Milan player ratings vs Atalanta: Quartet put in superb displays but stalwart poor

Kessie Calhanoglu AC Milan Atalanta

Milan put in an excellent shift to secure a point against Atalanta after a 1-1 draw, with a number of influential figures standing out given their contribution.

The Rossoneri were without three key players in Alessio Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez and Ismael Bennacer, and that undoubtedly made what was already a tough assignment even more difficult.

READ MORE: Five key talking points as Milan battle for hard-fought point against Atalanta

Nevertheless, we dug deep, as we have done since the restart, and having had chances in the second half to secure a win, we can be pleased with what we saw from the players as we now face the last two games of the Serie A season with qualification to the group stage of the Europa League still in our sights.

Milan player ratings vs Atalanta…

Gianluigi Donnarumma, 7 – Produced some key stops and also denied Atalanta from the penalty spot as he put in a top performance having been given the responsibility of being captain too.

Davide Calabria, 6 – Did well at times in both his defensive play and distribution, but struggled with the physical battle against Duvan Zapata particularly in the lead up to his goal.

Simon Kjaer, 7 – Barely put a foot wrong in yet another assured, commanding display. His experience and leadership was also key in marshalling the backline and helping his centre-half partner with Romagnoli absent.

Matteo Gabbia, 6 – Still vulnerable to making key mistakes, but he showed maturity and composure too as he made some important interventions in the latter stages and began to look a little more solid.

Diego Laxalt, 6 – Can’t offer the same threat and quality as Hernandez, but he carried out his defensive duties well and provided energy and support down the left flank. An able stand-in option.

Franck Kessie, 7.5 – His fitness levels are unbelievable, while his composure and quality on the ball has improved no end. Even with the extra pressure and responsibility in midfield without Bennacer next to him, he still put in a stellar performance.

Lucas Biglia, 5 – Hopefully his last appearance in a Milan shirt. Gave the penalty away, was dispossessed in the build-up to Atalanta’s goal and was anonymous for the most part as he was a spectator with the game bypassing him throughout.

Alexis Saelemaekers, 5.5 – Good energy and determination to work hard for the team, but didn’t show enough quality in attack and in key moments in the final third where he could have been, and perhaps should have been, a bigger threat.

Hakan Calhanoglu, 7 – Scored a superb goal to keep his decisive form going, and was constantly at the heart of our attacking play as he makes us tick and is posing a constant problem for the opposition. Perhaps grew a little tired before being replaced.

Ante Rebic, 6 – As always, work ethic and desire was spot on but he couldn’t quite match that with the quality needed in the final third. Showed his class to cause Rafael Toloi real problems, but wasn’t able to find a decisive touch.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 6 – Wasn’t able to have as big an influence as he’s capable of as he was kept relatively quiet both when dropping deep to try and pull the strings or trying to offer a presence in the box. Had some good moments, but not enough to help prise Atalanta open.

Substitutes:

Rafael Leao, 6 – Looked lively after coming on as he attacked down the left flank with pace, directness and purpose. Could have had an opportunity to score but seemingly thwarted by his own teammate in Ibrahimovic.

Giacomo Bonaventura, 6 – Came agonisingly close to what could have been the winning goal with a strike from distance which struck the post as he made a positive impact.

Rade Krunic, 6 – Difficult to understand why he didn’t start the game as he was a much more effective option compared to Biglia. Fresh legs, physical in midfield and offered some more solidity next to Kessie.

Samuel Castillejo, 6 – Great to see him back and it was important for him to get a run out and build his match fitness as it’s hoped that he’ll play an increasingly important role in the remaining two games.