The reaction on social media to yesterday’s draw was mostly disappointment. Which at first, was a little shocking, but after a while I began to realize why. Gennaro Gattuso’s AC Milan and their winning mentality has spilled over onto the fans, finally. Flashback a few months ago, what would have been your hope going into Udinese, away from home? Most would have predicted a loss, I’d reckon.
These days we’ve come to expect three points regardless of the fixture. Yesterday was no different in that regard. Unfortunately Davide Calabria, and his second yellow card, would not allow for glory earned. Combine that with a midfield that was just allowing too much to go by, most fans were just waiting for Kevin Lasagna to punish the defense.
With that in mind, here are this week’s player ratings. As always, we score everyone on a 1-10 scale, starting with the manager.
Gennaro Gattuso - 7 - Monday morning managing is always easy. When something doesn’t work, all of us can point out the obvious exclaiming the manager should have employed option B, instead of A. However, in the moment, you go with your gut and Gattuso’s gut said to bring on an extra defender after Calabria was sent off. I noticed many people criticizing the move, taking off Bonaventura, but at the time, I didn’t hate it. The substitutions I did take issue with was bringing on Nikola Kalinic, instead of a fresher, livelier, Patrick Cutrone.
Gianluigi Donnarumma - 7 - Sure, it was an own goal, but it was unlucky. Donnarumma had some good stops leading up to the deflection so it’s tough to criticize. De Paul and Lasagna were crossing in front of net all match long, and the kid did well enough to marshal his back line.
Davide Calabria - 4 - I’m going to be tough on Calabria here, apologies in advance. I understand taking advantage of play time but he needs to temper himself there with a yellow card already in the books. It was a tough call for the send off, but ultimately, I’m comfortable saying Milan don’t concede with 11 on the pitch.
Ignazio Abate - 6 - Allowed Rodrigo De Paul too much space at times, but put in a decent effort. The veteran was forced to track back and defend his lines after supporting Suso’s runs in, overall a solid performance.
Alessio Romagnoli - 8 - I’m worried he’s getting too good. So good that he might be the answer to Milan’s financial issues and gets sold off. Tough to blame the combination of Romagnoli and Bonucci on the advances of Udinese, who for the most part, dealt with the threats in front of goal.
Leonardo Bonucci - 7 - Kevin Lasagna had a few free headers and shots at goal, though luckily for Bonucci, Lasagna badly missed the target more than a few times. Not as strong as his partner but did his job well enough.
Franck Kessie - 5 - Kessie is quickly rising as a fan favorite. His 2,840 logged minutes this year tops the squad, and he seems to run for everyone of those minutes. He does make his mistakes as he loses possession all too easily at times, however when that occurs, Kessie is the first one tracking back and recovering. His work rate is phenomenal and, on his day, he’s quite the force. Just not yesterday.
Lucas Biglia - 4 - Mostly anonymous the entirety of the match, and where I place the blame for the entire Udinese front line pouring in at times. The combination and free movement from De Paul and Lasagna was incredibly difficult to deal with, sure, but we’ve come to expect better.
Giacomo Bonaventura - 7 - Subbed off earlier than I, and most fans, would have liked due to Calabria’s sending off. Bonaventura was wonderful in distribution and is certainly enjoying his football at the moment. Another good performance, even if cut short.
Hakan Calhanoglu - 5 - Most won’t agree with me here, and that’s okay! I was just really let down after what seemed like a promising start to the match. The light that fuels his creativity just seemed to dim as the match went on, until we saw a tired jog. The sub for Borini should have come earlier.
Andre Silva - 6 - I don’t think it was as bad as everyone made it out to be. Sure, he blew a chance in the first half, but I think his link up play and dribbling were pretty good for a man who hasn’t had a lot of opportunity. I think the cries for Cutrone are fueling the quick judgement, but to be fair, anything is better than Kalinic at the moment.
Suso - 8 - Just gonna leave this here...
Luca Antonelli - 6 - Brought on after Calabria was sent off and did well enough.
Nikola Kalinic - 5 - I’ve already spoken about how I wanted to see Cutrone in this spot. Kalinic provided some life up top, but nothing really to write home about.
Fabio Borini - 5 - Not really enough time to judge. High work rate but you can expect that from a late match substitution.