Wednesday it was a great night for Milan at the MAPEI Stadium since the Rossoneri were able to conquer their first trophy -- even if it's not an official one -- of the summer and showed some flash of what this team could do in the upcoming season.
Check out more pics of yesterday's #TrofeoTIM here http://t.co/6eYtxdQPFA #weareacmilan pic.twitter.com/wBWs3Oe5Qb— AC Milan (@acmilan) August 13, 2015
It was not a perfect night, though, since there were many players that didn't play well despite the good overall performance of the team. Let's take a look at those who shined brighter than the others, and at who struggled more.
The Colombian striker was arguably the best player of the mini-tournament and was duly awarded for his performance.
.@carlos7bacca won the best player award / Bacca migliore in campo del #TrofeoTIM! pic.twitter.com/nex472p4NC— AC Milan (@acmilan) August 12, 2015
On Wednesday, he showed the entire package: quickness, strength, vision, skills in one-on-one situations and great ability in finishing in front of the goal. Miranda and Santon had a lot of problems in covering his continuous movements behind them and that led to the first goal of the night - scored by Andrea Bertolacci.
Assist di Bacca, rete di Bertolacci: speriamo di vedere altre azioni-gol così!Posted by Milanlive.it on Thursday, August 13, 2015
Then he decided to be more selfish and dribbled three opponents before beating Handanovic on his right, showing he can even take the ball and go straight to the goal, that's something he rarely did in his time at Sevilla.
Lo splendido gol di Carlos BaccaPosted by Milanlive.it on Thursday, August 13, 2015
Good news milanisti: he and Luiz Adriano can definitely play together, looking even complementary to one another.
The 21-year-old (he'll be 22 in November) center back was again in Siniša Mihajlović's starting lineup, and demonstrated once again why the new manager continues to prefer him over Philippe Mexès, Gabriel Paletta, or Alex. On Wednesday, he looked confident and didn't make any mistake during his 45 minutes of play against Inter, especially in covering Alex's marking errors and moving the ball at the beginning of the offensive maneuver.
He played a bit more than 10 minutes together with the new signing Alessio Romagnoli after Alex's red card and they looked better than anyone expected despite their young age.
He's only 16 -- yes you read that correctly -- but Mihajlović has not been afraid of sending him on the field during this preseason and that choice definitely paid off Wednesday night. Donnarumma played the "entire game" against Sassuolo making a couple of mistakes, especially early in the game, but showing some flash of his huge potential. He was also the "hero" of the night saving two penalties -- and at least getting a touch on two others -- during the shootouts.
His recovery from the injury that occurred with Gli Azzurri has not been easy and maybe this is still conditioning his performances. He's never been an exuberant player on the field, but he's never been super-timorous like he was Wednesday night. He was slow, predictable, and soft during the entire game against Sassuolo, and he was one of the reasons why Milan struggled at the beginning of that match.
Maybe he only had a bad performance due to fatigue, but he still has a lot to improve if he wants to earn a starting role in Mihajlović's Milan.
His lack of consistency is almost irritating: he has the abilities to perform like an above the average defender but he often fails to show the best part of his repertoire. During the Trofeo, it was one of those nights where he can barely complete a simple pass to the other center back or win a tackle with his direct opponent. Luckily, Paletta subbed for him after 25 minutes substantially improving Milan's defense.
Honestly, his performance was better than his preseason average, but it still wasn't enough. He looked slow and predictable and missed a lot of easy passes losing the ball possession when the team needed to keep it. He insisted in trying impossible dribblings against Sassuolo's defenders and that slowed Milan's offensive maneuver when they would have preferred to keep an higher pace. Despite a lot of errors, Matri was the most dangerous striker for the Rossoneri in the second game of the tournament -- maybe not the best indicator for the club's depth up top.