The second match of the International Champions Cup saw Milan play Portuguese side Benfica in Gillette stadium. In this match head coach Marco Giampaolo showcased more of the starters and it showed with their increased quality of play. Milan had a fantastic first 45 minutes where they really showed what a team under Giampaolo can do. During the first half Milan had numerous chances but couldn't capitalize. Countless times Suso (as an attacking mid) fed the ball into Castillejo and he either couldn't finish or was offside. Nonetheless Milan impressed and with their full squad there is a lot of promise.
Now the second half was kind of a different story for the Rossoneri. It is safe to say that the team and their style of play fell a bit off. This could be because of the teams overall lack of fitness this early in the preseason. Benfica ended up getting a fairly lucky bounce which ended up in the back of the net. Overall there were bright spots in this performance and the tactics of Giampaolo give Milan a more alluring style of football.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: Even though this is just a preseason game Gigio was spectacular. During multiple points in the match he faced an attacker 1 on 1 and he stopped them each time. Gigio looked in mid season form as he bailed out Milan from a few mistakes on defence. 7.5/10
Davide Calabria: The starting right back job seems like Calabria’s to lose at this point. However he could use some work on offence. Defensively he is solid but his pace going forward might be a problem in such a narrow formation. 6/10
Matteo Musacchio: Well new year same mediocre Musacchio. Musacchio per usual is average, he’ll make a good play then give the ball away in the next possession. This is preseason still so hey maybe he can still improve under Giampaolo. 6/10
Alessio Romagnoli: To counter act Musacchio and his mediocrity Giampaolo put him next to a brick wall. Romagnoli is always solid as he basically gives me no material to write about. It was interesting to note that it seems that Giampaolo wants Alessio to be more of a distributor on the back line 7/10
Ricardo Rodriguez: After what I saw what Theo Hernandez did in the last match it is hard to compare Rodriguez to him. Rodriguez is solid but he lacks the pace to contribute on offence. Against Bayern Hernandez made forward runs all by his lonesome but Rodriguez is just incapable of doing so. 6.5/10
Fabio Borini: Borini as a midfielder, well I still don't like it but it’s the preseason so why not experiment a bit. Borini like always is the hardest worker on the pitch but his performances on the Milan social media accounts are better than his performances on the pitch. 6/10
Lucas Biglia: Aside from a marvellous free kick that struck the cross bar Biglia was subpar. In possession he takes his time and might not get rid of the ball quick enough for this system. Not to mention he was the one who gave away the ball that led to the Benfica goal 5/10
Biglia with stunning free-kick, so close! pic.twitter.com/NpL04phHZ0— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) July 28, 2019
Hakan Calhanoglu: Hakan playing in a more natural position has improved his play for sure but he continues to insist on taking long shots. Doubt he would in the starting eleven at the start of the year barring any injuries. 6/10
Suso: If Silvio Berlusconi saw this lineup it would have brought a smile to his face because Suso finally played as an attacking midfielder. Surprisingly he fit the role and played good passes to the strikers to create scoring chances. 6.5/10
Samu Castillejo: Another chance for Castillejo to prove that he is able to play as a second striker and another chance possibly blown. A number of times Castillejo had an opportunity to score and on every chance he failed to capitalize. 6/10
Krzysztof Piatek: For the second straight game Piatek didn't get much service. Only really getting one opportunity to put the ball in the net and he failed to do so. 5.5/10
Pepe Reina: Coming on at the start of the second half Reina put in solid minutes as usual. However I'm not really sure why Reina is getting this time and why youngster Alessandro Plizzari doesn't see any time on the field. 6/10
Andrea Conti: Giving another opportunity to prove that he is back from his countless injuries. It is apparent that Conti just isn't there yet and it might take him more time to get back to playing regularly. 5.5/10
Matteo Gabbia: After last match’s great performance I felt that Gabbia should have been given the opportunity to start. Gabbia came in a did his job, it would be nice to see him next to Romagnoli in the next match. 6/10
Rade Krunic: A debut for the newest Rossoneri. Krunic wasn't given much time to incorporate himself into that match and didn't make much of an impact. It would have been nice to see more of Krunic and maybe even put him in the starting eleven in place of Fabio Borini. 6/10
Ivan Strinic: Well it looks like Ivan Strinic should be the odd man out at the left back position. To be completely frank he just doesn't have it and Milan should took to ship him off. 5/10
Marco Brescianini: N/A
Daniel Maldini: N/A
Again this is only preseason so these ratings and reactions to the players performances should be taken lightly. However Milan look like they are on the right track and with more time, a healthy squad and a few more signings things could be looking up.