Milan Player Ratings vs Lecce: Theo Flop, Bennacer Top

Milan came from a 2-0 halftime deficit to hold promoted Lecce to an enthralling 2-2 draw at the Stadio Via del Mare on Saturday evening. Unfortunately for the reigning Serie A champions, that result has probably ended their Scudetto hopes.

Napoli brushed Juventus aside with an overwhelming 5-1 home win on Friday to go ten points clear at the summit. So Milan knew that anything other than victory at Via del Mare would effectively rule them out of the Scudetto race at the midway point of the season.

However, Stefano Pioli’s men didn’t act accordingly. Instead, reliable left-back Theo Hernandez gave Milan the worst possible start to the game. The Frenchman scored an unfortunate own goal to hand Lecce the lead only three minutes into the match. But it was only a sign of things to come.

Unfazed by their underdog status, Marco Baroni’s team took every opportunity to hurt Milan on the break. Lecce’s resolute approach paid off on the stroke of the half-hour mark. Morten Hjulmand whipped a superb cross into the box, with Federico Baschirotto directing his close-range header inside the right post.

Milan never gained a foothold in the first half, often failing to cope with Lecce’s stubborn defensive display. Olivier Giroud wasted the best first-half chance for the visitors as Wladimiro Falcone made a stunning diving save to deny his towering header.

Star forward Rafael Leao pulled one back early in the second half with a delightful finish before Davide Calabria headed home Giroud’s perfect lay-off to level the score in the 71st minute. But Milan failed to create a single meaningful opportunity for the rest of the game, being forced to settle for a point.

Milan (4-2-3-1)

Ciprian Tatarusanu – 2/10 

Mike Maignan cannot recover soon enough. That’s probably the best way to describe the Romanian’s performance this evening. 

Theo Hernandez – 2/10

Scored an early own goal and never managed to recover mentally. No wonder Pioli withdrew him from the fray at halftime for the first time since joining the club. 

Fikayo Tomori – 6/10

Made several crucial interceptions to cut Lecce’s counters in their knees but looked in discomfort in aerial duels. Comfortably outjumped by Baschirotto for the hosts’ second goal tonight. 

Pierre Kalulu – 5/10

Not one of his most composed performances this season. Caught napping a couple of times in the first half but regained his confidence as the match progressed. 

Davide Calabria – 7/10

Not an unlikely source of goals, but it’s been a while since he last scored. Did well defensively and netted a crucial header to bring Milan back on level terms. 

Ismael Bennacer – 7

An absolute beast in the middle of the park, the Algerian won virtually every 50/50 challenge and soaked up the limelight as Milan’s architect in Sandro Tonali’s absence. 

Tommaso Pobega

Lucky to get away without a booking as his tackling was over-zealous at times. However, struggled to fill Tonali’s shoes, especially in the build-up play. 

Alexis Saelemaekers – 1/10

Maybe it’s time for Pioli to consider benching the Belgian winger for good. Another useless performance from the clueless forward, who could not complain about being replaced at halftime. 

Brahim Diaz – 4/10

Despite all the effort and tireless runs, the diminutive playmaker couldn’t find a single killer pass or pose any kind of threat to Lecce’s backline. 

Rafael Leao – 6/10

Though his dribblings often proved ineffective today, last season’s Serie A MVP award winner slotted home a beauty to ignite Milan’s comeback. Other than the goal, lost way too many balls. 

Olivier Giroud – 

Showed off his footballing brilliance to lay off an inch-perfect header and set Calabria up on a silver platter. 


Sergino Dest – 3/10

He was supposed to be an upgrade on frustrated Hernandez but delivered another underwhelming showing despite playing on the same side as Leao. 

Junior Messias – 3/10

Looked a bit rusty since coming on and never managed to influence the game. 

Divock Origi – 3/10

Simon Kjaer – NA/10

Aster Vranckx – NA/10

Follow us on Google News for more updates on Serie A and Italian football