Milan Player Ratings vs Lazio: Leao Back to MVP Mode

Milan utterly outclassed Lazio in Saturday’s heavyweight Serie A clash at San Siro, steamrolling to a 2-0 victory. After a goalless first half, Stefano Pioli’s men shifted through the gears past halftime to make it three league wins on the trot.

Buzzing from a come-from-behind 3-1 triumph at Cagliari in midweek Serie A action, Milan came into proceedings keen to maintain their resurgence after an infamous Derby della Madonnina fiasco. Pioli’s team took the initiative from the get-go but couldn’t find a breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes. 

After wasting a catalog of first-half chances, Milan opened the scoring at the hour mark. Rafael Leao delivered an inch-perfect low cross toward the path of Christian Pulisic, who hammered the ball home first time with a weaker left foot to give Rossoneri a well-deserved lead.

Milan thought they had grabbed the second when substitute Yunus Musah riffled a thunderous shot from the edge of the box. But Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel pulled off a sterling diving save to thwart his attempt. But the highly-rated stopper was powerless in the 88th minute as Leao stole the spotlight again.

The Portuguese winger breezed past two of his markers before serving Noah Okafor up on a silver platter. The Austrian had no problems slotting the ball into an empty net to add to his tally after initiating Milan’s comeback at Cagliari on Wednesday. 

Let’s look at our player ratings.

Milan (4-3-3)

Mike Maignan – 7

Back in goal after missing out on the last two league games due to injury, the Milan star goalie lived up to the billing. He made several eye-catching stops to register another shutout.

Davide Calabria – 7

Another player who returned to action after a brief spell on the sidelines – the captain did a phenomenal defensive job against Mattia Zaccagni. While he wasn’t as active in attack as in recent matches, his stellar contribution at the back hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Simon Kjaer – 7

Pioli’s decision to bench Malick Thiaw for the veteran defender raised a few eyebrows. But the Dane was nothing short of outstanding today. Taty Castellanos and Ciro Immobile looked powerless against the former Atalanta man. 

Fikayo Tomori – 7.5

The Englishman is one of the most dependable center-backs in Serie A. Today’s performance best illustrates his stature. He was a cornerstone of Milan’s watertight backline against Lazio’s potent attack. 

Theo Hernandez – 7

He loves playing alongside Leao, as witnessed by his electrifying showing this evening. In addition to doing plenty of dirty work at the back, he was an always-present figure in the front third, keeping Lazio defenders busy with his trademark runs down the left flank.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6

Although he started the game on the front foot, an early injury forced him off the pitch before the half-hour mark.

Tijjani Reijnders – 7.5

It’s unfathomable how he failed to turn home a rebound after Olivier Giroud’s attempt late in the first half. He created another top chance for himself after the break but only hit the side netting. Despite failing to score, he was at the thick of every action today.

Yacine Adli – 6.5

After a lively display against Cagliari, he entered the game in high spirits and put on another solid performance at the heart of Pioli’s midfield. Although Milan couldn’t profit from his playmaking from deep inside the midfield, he showed flashes of his talent again.

Rafael Leao – 8

The quicksilver forward found the best way to silence his critics. He delivered two perfect assists to unlock Lazio’s stubborn defense. Unlike some recent games, he was almost impossible to get stripped of the ball today. Pure masterclass!

Olivier Giroud – 6.5

The experienced striker will be kicking himself for failing to score today, but Provedel came out on top of their head-to-head battle. Nonetheless, he won numerous aerial duels and helped Milan build in the final third. 

Christian Pulisic – 7.5

When it looked like he was losing momentum, the USMNT skipper returned to the scoresheet with a bang. His superb first-time finish left Provedel a statue, while his overall on-field impact was admirable. He seems to be picking up pace again.


Yunus Musah – 7

Pulisic’s international colleague was unlucky to see Provedel deny his well-driven low effort. However, his work ratio was insane. What a signing for Milan!

Alessandro Florenzi – 6

Took Calabria’s place midway through the second half and held up his end of the bargain in defense.

Tommaso Pobega – 6

Did the heavy lifting in the middle but nothing noteworthy.

Noah Okafor – 7

Giroud’s successor is shining bright!

Samuel Chukwueze – N/A

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