Milan made three out of three this season as they edged past Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday night thanks to Olivier Giroud’s spot kick and Rafael Leao’s masterpiece goal.
But when the Rossoneri seemed to have gotten their job done, Fikayo Tomori saw red with still 30 minutes to go, forcing his side to defend the lead with one man less. Still, Roma only found the back of the net during stoppage time when Leonardo Spinazzola’s shot was deflected by Pierre Kalulu into his own net.
Overall, Milan struggled less than one would expect despite playing in numerical disadvantage for such a long time.
Stefano Pioli deployed the same starting lineup for the third time in a row. Despite the multiple new signings, the Diavoli‘s gaffer seems to have already found a setup that works. Here’s how his men performed tonight based on our player ratings:
Mike Maignan – 6.5
Stepped up to the task when he was tested by Stephan El Shaarawy. Couldn’t do much when Pierre Kalulu’s deflection sent him the wrong way as Roma scored their only goal of the night. Overall, he was confident as usual in the box despite one single ill-timed exit that could have costed his side much.
Davide Calabria – 6.5
His cross from the right flank triggered Rafael Leao’s masterpiece that doubled Milan’s lead. Was efficient at the back and did well in containing Leonardo Spinazzola on the right side, even though the Azzurro beat him in the occasion of Roma’s goal.
Fikayo Tomori – 5.5
His rough and tough battle with Andrea Belotti resulted in the former Chelsea man seeing yellow early in the game. He risked being sent off in the first half already and kept being nervous for most of the game, until he was shown his marching orders for yet another tackle on Il Gallo.
Malick Thiaw – 6.5
The only successful signing from Milan’s disastrous transfer market last season, the German is growing more and more confident, game after game.
Theo Hernandez – 6.5
Picked Christian Pulisic with a perfectly-timed, long-range cross but goalie Rui Patricio came to Roma’s rescue. Also produced himself in one of his signature dashes, going all along the left flank before being stopped. Those were the highlights from yet another solid game for the Frenchman.
Rade Krunic – 6.5
Almost playing as a deep-lying playmaker, Milan’s “Invisible Man” kept doing his job like a silent, diligent soldier, proving essential to keep Stefano Pioli’s setup in balance.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7
The man is a true warrior. Playing more high up the pitch, almost next to Olivier Giroud, he gained a penalty with a clever incursion early in the game that paved the way to the Rossoneri‘s success. Was subbed when Tomori was sent off and Pioli feared he could follow along as he was already booked.
Tijjani Reijnders – 6
A quiet game for the young signing from AZ Alkmaar compared to his previous two scintillating performances.
Christian Pulisic – 6.5
Came close to becoming the third player in Milan’s history to score three times out of his first three games with the Rossoneri (after Oliver Bierhoff and Mario Balotelli) but Rui Patricio did one of the few good things in his poor season start with a super save to deny him from close range.
Rafael Leao – 7
Was unstoppable as usual whenever he set his mind to dribble the opposition. Opened up his season account with a true gem of a goal, a half volley that made light of his marker Zeki Celik. Was Milan’s added value, once again.
Olivier Giroud – 6.5
Did his job from the penalty spot once again, then helped defend the lead when needed like true veterans do.
Pierre Kalulu – 6
Came in to shore up the back line after Tomori’s dismissal but found himself in the wrong place as he deflected Spinazzola’s shot into his own net. Just bad luck.
Tommaso Pobega – N/A
Noah Okafor – 6.5
The Swiss put together his best performance so far, one of his dash resulting in Lukaku scoring a yellow card on his Giallorossi debut. Proved very helpful during added time as he kept the ball to his feet to prevent Roma’s final assault.
Samuel Chukwueze – 6
Came in for Pulisic in what is becoming a regular turnover in Pioli’s scheme.
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