Man of the Match: J. Zirkzee (7.5)
The young Dutchman was a constant offensive threat for Milan, and was the only one to really stand out for Bologna. His speed and acceleration, even with the ball at his feet, allowed him to almost single-handedly manage his team’s counterattacks. He was a fearsome dribbler, but also knew how to be selfless when needed. He missed several chances to score a brace after scoring his first goal in the 29th minute, a heavy shot between Maignan’s legs in a tight angle. A very complete performance, as he was even important defensively. The Dutchman didn’t spare his efforts, and it paid off on the field.
AC Milan (4-2-3-1)
M. Maignan (5)
For his return after the hell he experienced in Udine, the French goalkeeper didn’t necessarily convince. He seems to be able to do better on Zirkzee’s goal, letting the ball go between his legs. Also, on the penalty, he’s not far from saving the ball. But let’s not kid ourselves, he’s not the main culprit on these two actions.
T. Hernandez (5.5)
A few bad offensive choices, but apart from that, the blue side full-back accelerated the game a lot with the ball at his feet. His crosses were a bit weak and inaccurate defensively, alternating between the very good and the bad, showing good physical qualities, but also being late on actions, notably on Bologna’s first goal.
M. Gabbia (4.5)
Rough in his defensive technique, the Italian owes this to his questionable positioning on some actions. It was a bit of a panic for him as soon as the ball approached his area of truth, and he was caught by the ball, rather than focusing on his player.
S. Kjaer (4)
The Dane shows once again that he no longer has the level of a starter. Very alert on actions in small spaces, he often looked disoriented in these types of situations. But even on crosses, a domain he usually masters, he lacked lucidity, as in the 49th minute, where Zirkzee receives a ball from Fabbian and is in a prime position to shoot, while the Dane is not far away, and must intervene.
D. Calabria (5.5)
A satisfactory match for the Rossoneri captain, who was active tonight. Sometimes quite axial to add density to the midfield, he succeeded in some good exchanges with Pulisic. This complicity leads to Loftus-Cheek’s first goal, on which he is the assist. Defensively, he was correct, not much bothered on his side. He comes off for A. Florenzi (59′).
T. Reijnders (7)
A real satisfaction for Milan, as the Dutchman has been in good form lately. He was really a very good driving force for this Milan team, and managed this midfield with flair. The young number 14 recovered interesting balls and then distributed them intelligently, going back to the back line if necessary.
Y. Adli (5.5)
A very good start to the game, with good defensive interventions and a delicious forward orientation of the game. But his influence decreased from the 30th minute, and we started to see less good things from the Frenchman. He is then replaced by Y. Musah (59′), especially since he had received a yellow card in the 44th minute.
R. Leao (5.5)
We sometimes found a Leao that we like to see, fast in transition, and decisive. But that remains too rare, and most of the time, he does not make the differences that we have been used to seeing from him. He causes the second penalty for Milan, after an acceleration that we like to see from him. He comes off for N. Okafor (87′).
R. Loftus-Cheek (7)
Very offensive tonight, the imposing attacking midfielder did everything he could to keep Milan in this match. Author of a brace, two goals from a striker, one with his right foot and the other with his head. But even outside of his goals, the Englishman shone with his dribbling and his game orientation. He is, with Reijnders, the distributor, the deliverer of these offensive balls, and sees well where the game needs to be played.
C. Pulisic (6)
The American had a very satisfactory match, as every time he had the ball, he created, provoked, and tried to destabilize the Bologna defense.
Olivier Giroud (5): The Frenchman did not deserve to be demoted, and made the necessary efforts. He was again effective in aerial duels and in deflections in the offensive phase. The only major black spot on the board was his very unconvincing penalty, saved by Skorupski. Replaced by Luka Jovic (60′)
FC Bologna (4-2-3-1)
Lukasz Skorupski (6): Even though he couldn’t push away the very powerful header from Loftus-Cheek in the 83rd minute, he still made a save on a penalty and resisted a second, which ended up on his right post. He made 2 saves this evening, and relaunched rather cleanly.
Viktor Kristiansen (4): Offensively very uncomfortable until the 80th minute when he revealed himself, he did not really pose a threat throughout the early stages of the game, and confined himself to defensive tasks. Tasks that he had a hard time performing, facing the dangerous exchanges between Calabria and Pulisic. He was more than once caught by their game, notably on the first Milanese goal. He also needs to do better on the second goal, which also comes from his side.
Riccardo Calafiori (5.5): Frankly solid, the young Italian defender did not deserve to be demoted. He managed the aerial phases well in the box, while being quite aggressive on the ball carrier. He is at fault for leaving Loftus-Cheek alone on the first goal. Apart from that, at the relaunch, he was very correct, carrying the ball high to seek out the attackers directly.
Sven Botman (4.5): A rather complicated match for the Dutchman, who was not always well-placed defensively. He is at fault for both goals, being too easily fooled. He also provokes the second penalty on Leao, with an avoidable hand in the face. He is on the other hand at the origin of the first Bologna goal, after a superb opening for Zirkzee.
Lorenzo Di Silvestri (6): Not ridiculous against Leao, the experienced Italian right-back does not deserve to be demoted for his match against the Portuguese. He really made some great interventions against him, despite a glaring lack of speed. And, despite this important defensive task, he managed to bring a little something to his team offensively. He comes off for Jerdy Schouten (82′).
Mohamed Aebischer (4): Very little in sight tonight, the defensive midfielder lacked defensive character. If the Bologna midfield was porous, and that we did not sometimes go through him to relaunch, it is not due to chance. He simply was not able to distinguish himself, and sometimes took risks at the relaunch. Replaced by Nicolas Dominguez (67′).
Remo Freuler (5.5): Very important in the recovery of the ball, he often made the defensive efforts to come back and tackle the ball carrier on the counterattack. He actually made a number of 6 successful tackles in this match, a good performance. The former Atalanta man has proved that he still has a bright future ahead of him.
Kingsley Coman (5): The left winger spent a lot of time defending, without really finding his marks in attack. He did not have a big impact offensively, without ruining the actions either. Defensively, it was rather satisfactory for an attacker. He comes off for the former Milanese Alexis Saelemaekers (67′).
Liam Ferguson (4.5): Not very visible offensively, or in any case, not very dangerous, the Scotsman missed this match. He mainly contented himself with controlling and passing the ball, when he succeeded in these gestures. He defended a lot, which is to his credit, but he also defended badly at times, too simplistic and naive. Like his high foot in the box, which leads to the very severe decision of Mr. Davide Massa, to award a penalty to Milan.
Gerrit Holtmann (5): Correct during this part, the right winger did his defensive work. On the other hand, on the offensive side, he lacked activity and creation. Like his counterpart on the left, he was a better defender than an attacker this evening. He comes off for the hero on the Bologna side, Riccardo Orsolini (82′).
Jerdy Schouten (7.5): See above.