Off the boot of 18-year old Manuel Locatelli, AC Milan find the match winner to defeat table leaders Juventus.
Here is how we rated the individual performances of the Rossoneri in their 1-0 victory over Juventus.
Vincenzo Montella (7.0): Montella looks to have found his best eleven players. The lineup was perfectly selected. Rather than go with a more experienced player, Montella stood by the 18-year old Manuel Locatelli in a crucial match. He got his substitutions right in this one with Andrea Poli, Gustavo Gomez and Gianluca Lapadula. Perhaps would have been better to take off Kucka or Poli who held yellows. Nonetheless, a brilliant tactical performance by Montella.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (8.0): What more is left to be said? Donnarumma was sensational in goal over 90 plus minutes. Never looked rattled. Distribution and ball playing out the back was done with confidence. Though he got a knock to the head from Pjanic, Donnarumma saved the three points by denying Sami Khedira the equalizer. Another marvelous performance by the teenager.
Ignazio Abate (6.5): Abate was a bit shaky at times in this one. He struggled to clear his lines in the final third and looked under intense pressure. The Italian did enough to limit Alex Sandro. Overall, a performance Montella will take.
Gabriel Paletta (8.0): Clear cut. Paletta was Milan’s best defender tonight. He made countless headers to deny Juventus any glimmer of hope in the air and was under full control in the back. Montella has his vice-Romagnoli.
Alessio Romagnoli (7.5): Romagnoli performed well in the 1-0 victory. A few mishandled balls when playing out the back are not enough to negate his 90 minutes of excellence.
Mattia De Sciglio (7.0): Mattia is slowly but surely finding good form on the left side. In the win over the Bianconeri, the 24-year old did well enough to limit Dani Alves from running rampant and building in the final third. He executed a few solid tackles and it seems as if he is playing with more fight as of late. A well-rounded display by the Euro 2016 standout.
Juraj Kucka (7.0): The Slovakian was a menacing force in the midfield tonight. Juventus, though without Claudio Marchisio, are as stocked as any in the middle of the park. Kucka did well to combat Hernanes, Khedira and Pjanic from controlling the tempo. A typical performance from the ex-Genoa man.
Manuel Locatelli (8.5) MOTM: The stage was the largest he has played on as a professional footballer. Starting the match a bit nervy, Locatelli gathered himself, controlled the tempo as the regista and found a groove. He was already having a convincing performance, but the match-winner tore the roof off the sold out San Siro. Two world class goals on two shots this season, along with his display in the middle of the park, earns the teenager Man of the Match honors.
Giacomo Bonaventura (7.5): Jack, playing as a mezz’ala, was once again on his game. His exceptional work rate was ever important, especially in a tie of this magnitude. He did well to combine with Niang and roll into the attack. Another day at the office for the ex-Atalanta man.
Suso (6.5): Suso turned in an average performance. Though he had the awareness to find Locatelli on his goal, he still remains predictable as he continues to shy away from his right foot. He did better on the back end to help out on defense. Still, it’s the workman-like effort that Montella loves about him.
Carlos Bacca (7.0): Bacca has been known to struggle with link and hold up play, however, he did extremely well in both areas tonight. He understood that Juventus’ back three was going to be difficult to crack. Any time he retained the ball, he held up and looked for support which opened up several avenues for Milan. We know he is clinical around goal, but if Bacca can sustain this type of performance, it’ll be a tremendous boost for the club moving forward.
M’Baye Niang (6.5): Overall, Niang was not too bad. He worked very hard, swung in several threatening crosses and was up for the challenge. However, 35-year old Andrea Barzagli was Juventus’s top player and quite literally locked the Frenchman down. Still, it’s a performance to build off for Niang.
Andrea Poli (6.0): Poli came on for Niang with nearly 20 minutes left of play. He did a decent job sticking to his strengths, but was careless in receiving a yellow and nearly a red. The energy is appreciated but it must be tamed and controlled.
Gustavo Gomez (n/a): The Paraguayan replaced the match winner Locatelli in this one. He got on the ball a few times, but mostly as an option to play back to Donnarumma.
Gianluca Lapadula (n/a): The player was not on the pitch long enough to make a proper assessment.