Milan Player Ratings vs Roma: Rossoneri Stranded in Yellow-Card Festive

Defending Serie A champions Milan squandered a two-goal lead in a dramatic 2-2 draw with fierce rivals Roma on Sunday night, inflicting a blow on their Scudetto hopes. Referee Davide Massa showed as many as 11 yellow cards in a feisty contest at the Stadio San Siro.

Milan thoroughly outclassed Roma in the first half, dominating possession and preventing the Giallorossi from threatening Ciprian Tatarusanu’s goal. But despite enjoying 70% of the ball, Stefano Pioli’s men found clear-cut chances hard to come by, though they spent most of the half around the visitors’ penalty area. 

Brahim Diaz was the first Milan player to knock on Rui Patricio’s goal. The Spaniard received a sublime lay-off from Olivier Giroud. Unmarked at the edge of the box, he unleashed a potent strike toward the middle of the goal, forcing the Portuguese goalkeeper to tip the ball over the crossbar. 

Milan took the lead from the resulting corner kick. In-form Sandro Tonali whipped the ball in, with Pierre Kalulu pulling off an exquisite diving header to beat Patricio and give the Rossoneri a well-deserved lead. However, it was an ugly first half, overwhelmed by yellow cards, with Jose Mourinho’s side earning four.  

Without the Special One on the bench, Roma never gained a foothold in the game. Instead, Milan extended their lead through second-half substitute Tommaso Pobega in the 77th minute. Yet, the visitors pulled one back late in the match as Roger Ibanez’s towering header offered no chance to Tatarusanu. Then, everything fell apart for Milan.

After his corner-kick delivery led to Roma’s first, Lorenzo Pellegrini launched another devastating cross toward Nemanja Matic. Though Tatarusanu thwarted the Serbian’s header, Tammy Abraham stabbed home from point-blank to level the score. Milan had no time to react, but they have no one other than themselves to blame for losing further ground on pacesetters Napoli.

Milan (4-2-3-1)

Ciprian Tatarusanu – 2.5

Reduced to a spectator role in the first half, the Romanian had nothing to do until Roger Ibanez headed home from Roma’s first shot on target.

Davide Calabria

While his passing and tackling were spot on, he was rarely to be seen close to Roma’s box. But helped Milan keep thing tight at the back until the final moments.

Pierre Kalulu – 5.5

Barely put his foot wrong in the first half and was rewarded for his superb showing with an equally impressive goal. Made numerous vital tackles, yet Abraham somehow slipped his mark right at the death.

Fikayo Tomori – 5.5

The highly-rated center-back was always there to give Kalulu a helping hand whenever his partner needed time to simmer down, defending with his usual aggression from the get-go.

Theo Hernandez – 7

Another assured performance from the ‘Flying Frenchman,’ an omnipresent figure on both ends of the pitch. According to the legend, people are still trying to find Paulo Dybala deep inside Hernandez’s back pocket.

Sandro Tonali – 6.5 

What a player he is! There’s a feeling the Italian deep-lying playmaker is improving with each game passing. His every touch made sense, and he wasn’t shy about getting his hands dirty.

Ismael Bennacer – 6.5

Fresh from penning a long-term contract at San Siro, the Algerian star proved his significance to Pioli’s set-up as his tenacious runs in the center of the park, combined with pinpoint passing, helped Milan win the midfield battle. However, looked nervous after the restart and had to be replaced to avoid picking up the second booking.

Alexis Saelemaekers – 3.5 

A near-anonymous display from the Belgian winger for the second match running following his quiet appearance at Salernitana last time out.

Brahim Diaz – 5

Pioli wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more composure from his No10, even though no one can accuse the Spaniard of a lack of trying. Somehow his final touch always lets him down.

Rafael Leao  – 4.5

Made Zeki Celik sweat time after time, using his blistering pace and fancy footwork to torment the Turkish right-back all evening long. Despite delivering an assist to Pobega, he often struggled to find the right choice.

Olivier Giroud – 4

Still a bit rusty after his World Cup exploits with France. After a series of misses away to Salernitana in midweek, the veteran striker turned on a ‘stealth mode’ tonight.


Tommaso Pobega – 5

Super-sub in a nutshell! Came on and scored with his first touch tonight, slotting the ball past Patricio with a delightful finish.

Aster Vranckx – 1.5

His clumsy challenge on Dybala produced the free-kick, which led to Roma’s equalizer.

Charles De Ketelaere – NA

Matteo Gabbia – NA

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