Milan Player Ratings vs Bologna: Captain America Lits Up Dall’Ara

The season of high expectations for Milan was off to a perfect start as they stunned Renato Dall’Ara into silence in their Serie A opener. Stefano Pioli’s side netted two unanswered goals within the opening half an hour to secure a 2-0 win.

Milan couldn’t have hoped for a better start. Summer additions Christian Pulisic and Tijjani Reijnders combined, with the letter setting Olivier Giroud up on a silver platter for the opening goal. It took I Rossoneri only 11 minutes to get off the mark in 2023/24. 

The traveling support didn’t have to wait long to see their side on the scoresheet again. Pulisic announced himself to Serie A in style. He picked up the ball at the halfway line and exchanged a one-two with Giroud before unleashing a thunderbolt into the far corner from well outside the box. And like that, Milan were 2-0 up in the 21st minute.

Bologna couldn’t gain a foothold in the first half. Milan swept Thiago Motta’s side away, delivering an inspirational performance in the opening 45 minutes of the new season. The hosts create a couple of decent openings early in the second half. But after failing to get on the scoresheet, they fell apart.

Milan settled for a clear-cut lead in the second half. Despite relinquishing their attacking ambitions, I Rossoneri routinely walked away with a morale-boosting three points.

Milan (4-3-3)

Mike Maignan – 7

One of the best goalkeepers in Serie A barely had a chance to showcase his talents in the first half. But he stepped up to the plate when Milan needed him the most early in the second half.

Davide Calabria – 6.5

The Milan captain took Pierre Kalulu’s place late, having struggled with minor fitness worries of late, but he was up to the task, especially at the back.

Fikayo Tomori – 6.5

Similarly to his pre-season showings, the Englishman had ups and downs tonight. While most of his interventions were spot on, he was too close to the edge on several occasions. 

Malick Thiaw – 7

Unlike his defensive partner, the German center-back excelled at the heart of Pioli’s defense, winning virtually every challenge coming his way. But he could still use more composure on the ball. 

Theo Hernandez – 7

Despite having some problems with Dan Ndoye defensively, the mesmerizing French left-back stood his ground. Attacking-wise, Bologna had a nightmare keeping up with his pace and bursting runs down the middle. 

Rade Krunic – 6.5

After a relatively slow start to the game, the Bosnian grew into the contest to provide an extra layer of protection at the back. His passes were sharp, albeit he refused to take much risk. 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7

There’s no doubt his midfield presence will be essential this season. His ability to retain possession under pressure and find a way out of tight spaces was off the charts tonight. 

Tijjani Reijnders – 7

What a start for the highly-rated midfielder in the Milan shirt! In addition to assisting Giroud for the opener, the Dutchman barely put his foot wrong at Dall’Ara, winning back possession multiple times and moving the ball around with purpose and precision.

Christian Pulisic – 8

The USMNT forward had a dream debut! After splitting Bologna’s defense in half for the opening goal, the ex-Chelsea winger launched a rocket missile from mid-range to double the visitors’ lead. 

Rafael Leao – 6

Pulisic’s sensational debut overshadowed Milan’s new No 10 this evening. Despite showing flashes of his brilliance down the left flank, he had a quiet evening by his standards.  

Olivier Giroud – 7.5

New Serie A season – same old Giroud! He’s aging like a fine wine. The 36-year-old showed off his poacher’s skills to break the deadlock before laying off an assist for Pulisic’s unstoppable strike. There’s not much you’d expect from a veteran center-forward.


Tommaso Pobega – 6.5

The homegrown San Siro midfielder showed some impressive skills since replacing Loftus-Cheek midway through the second half.

Noah Okafor – 5

The former RB Salzburg forward barely touched the ball after taking Giroud’s place.

Samuel Chukwueze – 5.5

Despite his defensive effort, he couldn’t impact the game with the little time he had at his disposal.

Pierre Kalulu – 5 

The youngster made a terrible mistake soon after coming on and was lucky Milan didn’t concede.

Simon Kjaer – N/A

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