Milan traveled to the Emirates Stadium in England on Thursday night looking to pull off the upset against Arsenal as they trailed 2-0 on aggregate in the UEFA Europa League, but the home side crushed the Italians’ hopes with a 3-1 win.
The Rossoneri struggled to get much going in the attack, but Hakan Calhanoglu brought them to life when he scored from distance in the first half. However, Arsenal responded quickly and drew a highly controversial penalty through Danny Welbeck. The English striker put it away, splitting Gianluigi Donnarumma and the home side followed with two more goals in the second half.
Let’s take a look at Milan’s player ratings.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (6): Gigio played very well throughout the first half and made multiple saves to keep the Rossoneri alive. However, after parrying a lot of the home side’s chances the 19-year-old made an error on Granit Xhaka’s goal to make it 2-1. Donnarumma tried to beat the ball down into the ground, but it deflected out from underneath him into the net. The keeper wasn’t able to save Arsenal’s opening goal on a penalty and also made an initial save before Danny Welbeck headed in the rebound.
Fabio Borini (5.5): Did his best on the right flank but looked outgunned all match long. Failed to contain Ozil and Wilshire as Arsenal’s dual threat attacked his side more consistently.
Leonardo Bonucci (6): A poor performance from Bonucci again in a big European game. He got rounded, out-muscled and looked sloppy defensively. What save his rating is his passing which continues to bail him out. Overall, it’s a common theme in these big games where he just cannot defend properly or position himself.
Alessio Romagnoli (6): Not the best from Romagnoli either. A lot of poor passes really cut his rating down but on the other side he managed to intercept a lot of passes and block a few shots, boosting it back up. Considering Milan’s defense held the ball well, he isn’t too much to blame for today’s scoreline. A building block.
Ricardo Rodriguez (5): Looked flat and contributed really nothing offensively of note. He had problems with Mkhitaryan on the left flank and struggled to contain him. By the time he was taken off, Arsenal switched to a more defensive posture and should’ve allowed the Swiss to take up a more offensive position. It didn’t happen, and it would not have mattered given the scoreline.
Suso (5): He will look back at this game with regret. Had one blistering shot that was off the mark and that’s about it. The referee didn’t help either, but overall he didn’t shine when he was needed.
Franck Kessie (6): Put in a good shift and was a positive figure in a new formation. Played the “Gattuso” role as destroyer and had his grinta on full display. He will have taken a lot from these two matches, despite them not going his side’s way.
Riccardo Montolivo (5.5): Thought Montolivo played well and was certainly a step up from Biglia in the first leg. A 4-4-2 going up against the likes of Wilshire, Ozil, Ramsey and Mkhitaryan is asking a lot for the two central midfielders and it was apparent Montolivo wasn’t the best defensive midfield option. However, he didn’t put his team in a lot of trouble, like Biglia did. Mixed bag.
Hakan Calhanoglu (6.5): He scored an absolute screamer early on that gave his side a lot of hope. It’s his inconsistency that continues to play him, but I gotta say, his goal is a top-5 candidate for the season.
Andre Silva (5.5): All smoke, no flames. A poor performance from the Portuguese and he really will leave with a lot to regret. Could’ve had a goal or two tonight if he had his shooting boots on. Poor.
Patrick Cutrone (6): Lots of grinta and spirit from the 20-year-old. Unfortunately, he just didn’t have the final touch to make a big impact. Did nearly score a belter of a volley, but alas, it went wide. He will grow from this.
Nikola Kalinic (5): Kalinic came on for Cutrone in the 67th minute of the match. The Croatian forward had a chance right after he came on when Bonucci whipped a ball into the box. However, like Milan’s efforts for the match, his header fell flat.
Giacomo Bonaventura (N/A): Bonaventura subbed into the match for goalscorer Calhanoglu in the 70th minute.
Manuel Locatelli (N/A): The 20-year-old replaced Kessie in the 79th minute. The youngster didn’t play enough minutes to garner any match rating.