Milan Player Ratings vs Udinese: Rossoneri Slump On Zlatan’s Return

Defending Serie A champions Milan fell to a demoralizing 3-1 defeat at mid-table Udinese on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to the starting line-up. Stefano Pioli’s side delivered another sub-par display at the Dacia Arena, throwing their hopes of securing a third consecutive top-four finish into further doubt.

Inspired by Ibrahimovic’s first start this season, Milan hoped to bounce back from a gut-wrenching 1-1 home draw against Salernitana last Monday. However, the match couldn’t have started worse for Milan. Lazar Samardzic intercepted a loose pass in the middle of the park and stormed into the penalty area. Udinese captain Roberto Pereyra practically stole the ball from his teammate, picking out the bottom right corner with an inch-perfect first-time finish to put the home side 1-0 up after just ten minutes.

Despite fighting back on the cusp of halftime through Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s penalty, Milan headed into the break 2-1 down. Udinese talisman Beto pounced on Isaac Success’ low cross, tapping the ball into the net from a point-blank range to help his team go into the dressing room on the front foot. Things soon went from bad to worse for Milan.

Udinese took full advantage of another sloppy reaction from the visiting side’s backline to put clear daylight between the teams midway through the second half. Kingsley Ehizibue was left unmarked on the back post, stabbing home in the empty net to kill the match off. Milan never came close to reducing the gap, extending their wasteful winless league run to three matches.

Milan (3-4-2-1)

Mike Maignan – 4.5

There was absolutely nothing he could do to prevent either goal in the first half as his defenders completely let him down on both occasions.

Pierre Kalulu – 5.5

Undoubtedly the best Milan defender tonight, which isn’t a big deal, given the visitors’ thoroughly disappointing defensive showing.

Malick Thiaw – 5.5

Let Beto slip his mark and restore Udinese’s lead. While he was otherwise spot on, there’s no doubt he’ll lose some sleep over his sluggish reaction to the Friulians’ second.

Fikayo Tomori – 4.5

Too slow to react to Ismael Bennacer’s poor pass leading to Udinese’s deadlock-breaker but gradually improved as the match progressed. Won numerous duels with Beto and did well with the ball at his feet.

Fode Ballo-Toure – 4

Jumped in to replace Theo Hernandez and was nowhere near the Frenchman’s high standards despite putting utmost effort. Caught off guard one too many times and was useless going forward.

Ismael Bennacer – 6

His wayward pass led to Udinese’s opener. But the Algerian playmaker regained his confidence in no time, soaking up the limelight as the visitors’ driving force in the midfield for the rest of his night. 

Sandro Tonali – 6

The Italian prodigy saw better days for sure. The will and determination were there, but precision and creativity weren’t as sharp as he would’ve wanted.

Alexis Saelemaekers – 2

It was like Milan had no depth on the right-hand side as the Belgian winger delivered another shameful display. It’s hard to recall any meaningful touch with the ball from one of the Rossoneri’s worst-performing players. Should’ve left the game earlier.

Brahim Diaz – 6.5

Arguably Milan’s liveliest player in the opening 45 minutes, enjoying most of the ball when the visitors were in possession and constantly trying to get his attacking comrades involved.

Rafael Leao – 5.5

Another underwhelming performance from last season’s Serie A MVP award winner. Lost way too many balls in one-on-one situations despite producing a couple of decent long-range attempts. At least he drew a penalty to help his side get back to level terms.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6.5

Seemed a bit rusty, which is nothing to be surprised about, considering his lengthy spell on the sidelines. However, he brought Milan back to square one from the spot at the second time of asking, becoming the oldest-ever goalscorer in Serie A history.


Rade Krunic – 3

Worked tirelessly in the middle of the park but to no avail.

Ante Rebic – 2

Had no impact on the game whatsoever.

Charles De Ketelaere – 2

What a waste of money.

Davide Calabria  – N/A

Divock Origi – N/A

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