After weeks of agonizing play and chatter regarding the manager’s position, AC Milan finally came away with three points. So why do we feel so... empty?
The talk coming into Genoa/Milan yesterday was almost exclusively about the job security of Marco Giampaolo, and deservedly so. After one of the poorest performances in recent memory, the embattled manager continued some of his bizarre personnel decisions against Genoa - this time dropping Rafael Leão and insisting on keeping Hakan Çalhanoglu in the lineup.
The result - Milan walking away with three points after one of the absolutely wildest games I’ve seen in a long time, and not in a good way.
Pepe Reina: Pepe’s game was indicative of Milan’s overall - he gave up an absolute howler to allow Genoa’s only goal from a set piece, but then saved a stoppage-time penalty to preserve the three points. Fine enough otherwise. 6/10
Davide Calabria: Davide continues to provide a solid option moving forward, insofar as Milan have any good options moving forward - but seeing red for the second straight match is inexcusable. 4/10
Leo Duarte: Expectations were low for the man making his starting Milan debut, and luckily he didn’t exactly disappoint - he was fine, no more no less. 5/10
Alessio Romagnoli: There seemed to be some communication issues with Duarte, which is expected, and I don’t believe he ever got really lost in defense - he continues to be perfect. 8/10
Theo Hernandez: He didn’t have a particularly great outing against Fiorentina, but the new man seemed on a mission this game - he took advantage of his speed to catch Genoa napping and scored the only open-play goal of the game. 7/10
Franck Kessie: Kessie’s game went with Milan’s - a poor first half turned around quickly at the second with the introduction of the positive subs - smart runs and supporting play were capped off by burying a winning penalty. 8/10
Lucas Biglia: I truly have no idea what to make of Biglia this season. He doesn’t exactly make any mistakes, but I could easily go 15-minutes at a time without realizing he’s actually on the pitch. Another one of those games for him. 5/10
Hakan Çalhanoglu: While he didn’t quite make any egregious errors like he did against Fiorentina, Hakan continues to be a negative influence in this midfield. I can’t tell if he’s simply being used out of position, or if he just simply isn’t able to provide what’s being asked of him. Either way, he should see the bench next game. 3/10
Suso: This was a pretty classic Suso game - a few speculative efforts from ~20 yards, a bit of failing to be the creative catalyst. Wasn’t particularly bad, just didn’t quite have it once again. 6/10
Krszysztof Piatek: Folks I’m officially worried about Piatek. Granted Milan haven’t exactly been able to provide him any service, but it’s starting to seem like he just can’t be involved in any type of build-up play. If that’s the case, that’s a massive problem. 3/10
Giacomo Bonaventura: Jack made his first start for Milan since October 2018, and I for one thought he was great. His ability to receive and distribute in tight confines along the touchline and in the halfspaces is something that Milan have desperately missed since his injury - here’s hoping he’s really back. 8/10
Rafael Leão: There’s no reason in my mind that Leão shouldn’t be a consistent starter for this team. He’s young, but he’s able to contribute in build up and has contributed to the few chances this team has seen. If he’s able to start taking some shots himself, watch out. 8/10
Lucas Paquetá: It’s fairly understandable not to start Paquetá after an injury, but he made an immediate impacting moving forward once he came on at the half. Advancing possession and taking advantage of his skill to beat defenders, he also should continue seeing consistent time from the start. 8/10
Andrea Conti: I’ll never understand the idea that Conti should start over Calabria, but he did a good job of providing some defensive solidity after Calabria’s sending off. Perfectly neutral game from him. 5/10
Please take advantage of the comments to tell me why this is wrong and I’m dumb.