Milan Player Ratings vs Slavia Praha: Summer Signings Fly High

Milan seized a numerical advantage to put Slavia Praha to the sword in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, claiming an all-important 4-2 win at home. Stefano Pioli’s side looked porous at the back again, yet their free-flowing frontlines lived up to the billing. 

Despite enduring a sluggish start to the game, Milan received a massive boost midway through the second half as El Hadji Diouf picked up a straight red for a horror tackle on Christian Pulisic. It took Rossoneri less than ten minutes to capitalize on the Senegalese’s expulsion, with Olivier Giroud heading home Rafael Leao’s attempted cross at the back post.

However, Pioli’s underperforming defense capitulated moments later as David Doudera restored parity. Milan regained the lead on the stroke of halftime through Tijjani Reijnders’ thumping finish from the outside the box before Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s free header put the Italians in cruising control of proceedings before the halftime whistle.

Though it should’ve been a routine task after the break, Slavia’s brave performance paid off in the 65th minute, with Ivan Schranz cutting Milan’s lead in half. The Serie A top-four hopefuls eventually secured a two-goal cushion ahead of the return leg. Pulisic turned home Leao’s shot after the quicksilver winger slalomed past several Slavia defenders.

Without further ado, let’s look at our Milan ratings.

Milan (4-2-3-1)

Mike Maignan – 6

When it looked like he was returning to his best, the French goalkeeper experienced another dreadful game. In his defense, his backline hung him up to dry several times. 

Alessandro Florenzi – 6.5

Grew into the contest after a relatively stuttering start to the match but looked fragile when asked to defend one-on-one.

Simon Kjaer – 6

Whether it was fatigue or just a one-off, the veteran center-back had a disappointing evening by his high standard.

Matteo Gabbia – 6

With Fikayo Tomori back to full fitness, maybe it’s time for the Italian to return to the bench. Slightly better than Kjaer but not convincing enough.

Theo Hernandez – 6.5

It would’ve been a disastrous performance from the dependable left-back if it wasn’t for his occasional bursts of pace down the flank, especially considering he struggled a lot at the back.

Yacine Adli – 6.5

Though the prodigious midfielder showed flashes of his playmaking brilliance, there’s a feeling he should’ve done more to help Milan control the tempo after going a man up.

Tijjani Reijnders – 7.5

Tonight’s showing unequivocally proves Pioli must reintegrate the Dutchman into his starting XI in Serie A. In addition to a well-taken goal, the ex-AZ Alkmaar star was too hot to handle for Slavia counterparts.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7.5

He might be the most significant cog in Pioli’s machine. Aside from netting another goal to maintain his free-scoring run, the Englishman looked at least two levels above his markers.

Christian Pulisic – 7.5

A complete display! Drew the game-defining red card and struck home a crucial late strike to put Milan in firm control of this tie ahead of next week’s trip to Prague.

Rafael Leao – 8

Vintage Leao performance! His electrifying pace tore Slavia’s defense apart. Despite failing to score, he chipped in with two assists.

Olivier Giroud – 7

Proved his poacher’s credentials with a classic finish at the back post to break the deadlock. Unfortunately, his teammates failed to offer him another chance to score. 


Fikayo Tomori – 7

Davide Calabria – 6.5

Luka Jovic – 6

Noah Okaford – N/A

Ismael Bennacer – N/A

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