Milan Player Ratings vs Lazio: Okafor Comes to the Rescue

Milan returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win in an all-tempered Serie A blockbuster at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday evening. Stefano Pioli’s side finished the game with three men up after Biancocelesti lost it down the final stretch.

It was a match of few chances in the first half, with Milan’s first promising opportunity coming on the stroke of halftime. Christian Pulisic’s hopeful left-footed strike from the edge of the box forced a relatively routine save from Ivan Provedel, who finger-tipped the ball over the crossbar. 

However, Pulisic continued to hand Luca Pellegrini all sorts of trouble on the right-hand side, drawing several cynical fouls from the Italian’s left-back at the start of the second half. Referee Marco Di Bello eventually showed Pellegrini a red card, leaving Lazio a man down.

With over half an hour left, Milan assumed control of proceedings but found it hard to muster goalscoring chances. Rossoneri thought they had grabbed the lead in the 77th minute through Rafael Leao, yet VAR disallowed the Portuguese winger’s goal for offside. 

When it looked like Milan would fail to score in away league action for the first time this season, Noah Okafor found a breakthrough. Off the bench in the 71st minute, Pioli’s super-sub needed less than 20 minutes on the pitch to beat Provedel and arrest Rossoneri’s three-game winless run.

Let’s look at our Milan ratings.

Milan (4-2-3-1)

Mike Maignan – 7

Though he wasn’t overly troubled by Lazio’s uneventful frontline, the French goalkeeper still had to make three saves to register only his second clean sheet across this last nine away league fixtures. 

Alessandro Florenzi – 6

While it’s hard to dispute his commitment and fighting spirit, the ex-Roma man proved Milan must dive back into the market for a new right-back come the summer.

Simon Kjaer – 7.5

Undoubtedly Milan’s best center-back when fit! The veteran proved it once again with a calm and composed display, showing his class on and off the ball.

Matteo Gabbia – 6.5

Not nearly as good as Kjaer, yet still did enough to fend off Lazio’s attackers, though he could use some composure, especially with the ball at his feet.

Theo Hernandez – 7.5

In addition to holding his ground at the back, the highly-rated left-back demonstrated his well-documented attacking prowess with numerous progressive runs down the flank.

Yacine Adli – 6

Maybe it’s time for Pioli to bring Tijjani Reijnders back into the starting XI. It was another sluggish performance from the Frenchman, who often lacked pace and guile, losing possession too cheaply more than once. 


Ismael Bennacer – 6.5

Slightly better than his partner in the double-pivot but still not effective enough, even though he had several eye-catching dribblings in the first half. 

Christian Pulisic – 7.5

Too hot for Pellegrini to handle, the USMNT forward enjoyed a superb game despite failing to get his name on the board. Drew a crucial red card early in the second half and looked lively on the ball.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7

Held up his end of the bargain defensively and was by far Milan’s most creative midfielder tonight, retaining possession in tight spaces and bringing his other teammates into play with laser-sharp passing.

Rafael Leao – 6.5

Way more quiet than against Atalanta but did his part in the 77th minute when VAR ruled against him. One of his best defensive performances, though!

Olivier Giroud – 6

Cut off from the rest of the pack for most of the game, the aging striker had a frustrating night. 


Davide Calabria – 6

Tijjani Reijnders – 6.5

Noah Okafor – 7.5

Malick Thiaw – 6.5

Fikayo Tomori – 6.5

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