Words: Luca LaPorta
Giacomo Bonaventura was Man of the Match against Craiova, while Franck Kessie impressed again for Milan.
In the first match of the new-look Milan’s season at San Siro, the Rossoneri booked their place in the Europa League play-off, beating Romanian side Craiova 2-0 (3-0 on aggregate) thanks to goals from Jack Bonaventura and Patrick Cutrone.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (7): Gigio wasn’t too busy tonight, but the 18-year-old looked much better with the ball at his feet and came up with a huge save in the early stages of the first half.
Andrea Conti (7.5): In his first Milan start, Conti looked extremely impressive. Very calm on the ball and seemed to have good chemistry with Suso on the right flank. Also made countless fantastic tackles to halt Craiova attacks.
Christian Zapata (7): With not much to do tonight, Zapata made a few decisive headers and was pretty good in possession. Booked for interrupting a counter-attack.
Mateo Musacchio (7): Musacchio looked extremely solid again tonight, after being probably the best player on the pitch last Thursday. Calm on the ball, solid defensively, and has great awareness.
Ricardo Rodriguez (7.5): The Swiss international looked great again tonight. Got forward in the play often, and provided the assist to Cutrone’s goal with a free kick.
Franck Kessie (8): A true tank in the midfield. Kessie brings something to the midfield that Milanisti haven’t seen for quite some time, the Ivorian added creativity and a box-to-box presence and even a blistering goal that was disallowed.
Manuel Locatelli (8): A very effective game from Locatelli, starting in the regista role. Extremely calm on the ball, made a few perfect tackles to win back possession and distributed all over the pitch.
Giacomo Bonaventura (8.5): ‘Jack Di Cuori’ was immense today. Opening the scoring for the Rossoneri in the ninth minute, Bonaventura looked lively as ever, taking his place in the midfield alongside Kessie and Locatelli. His movement on and off the ball, ability to take on defenders and distribute everywhere on the pitch made him todays MOTM for me.
Suso (7): Returning for the first time since the last game of the 2016-17 season, the Spaniard didn’t miss a beat today. Suso showed off his terrific dribbling ability and proved exactly why he’s a lock in the starting line-up this season and for the future.
Patrick Cutrone (6.5): The youngest Milan goal-scorer in Europe since Alexandre Pato, Cutrone held the ball up effectively and looked lively all around the pitch. Still raw and needs time to develop, but he has a lot of talent.
M’Baye Niang (6): Not a terrible game from the Frenchman, but a goal would’ve been nice for his confidence. He had a few good attempts on goal, including a late header that was denied, but must track back more to cover Ricardo Rodriguez. He’s not a true winger, but Montella looked keen on keeping him around.
Hakan Calhanoglu (7): Came on for Suso in the 65th minute, had a few runs up the left wing with the ball and showed his skills by beating the Craiova left-back to set up a few scoring chances.
Andre Silva (N/A): Had a few touches and held the ball up a few times, not enough to receive a rating.
Fabio Borini (N/A): Came on late, attacked Craiova a few times, but not enough to receive a rating.