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Milan Player Ratings: Milan 3-1 Napoli

After the break Milan looked sharp and ready

SSC Napoli v AC MIlan - Serie A Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After a useless international break, Serie A returned to action. The big match of the weekend was AC Milan against Napoli. This was a big match for Milan as they needed to get the 3 points to return to top of the Serie A table. Milan had Daniele Bonera on the bench due to a covid crisis amongst the coaching staff and he fielded a very familiar starting eleven to manager Stefano Pioli. For the first 20 minutes or so of the match Milan dominated possession and pressed Napoli high up the pitch. This pressing gave Napoli many problems and didn't give them space to attack. In the 20th minute Milan went on attack down the left side and Theo Hernandez launched a beautiful ball that found the head of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who put it past Meret. Milan were now up 1-0. However, Napoli responded well and Milan were forced to sit back and defend. The defence held strong and Milan kept their 1 goal lead into half time.

The second half was almost identical to the first, where Milan played well and pressed in the first portion leading to another Zlatan goal in the 55th minute. Then after the goal the squad was content to sit back a bit and defend. We know that a Gattuso led team would never give up and down 2-0 Napoli kept fighting. Their fighting led to a goal in the 63rd minute scored by Dries Mertens. In the 65th minute Bakayoko was given his second yellow and was sent off putting Napoli down to 10 men. Even down to 10 men Napoli still gave Milan some trouble and the game never looked dead. In the last minute of extra time Jans Petter Hauge put the game away with a very nice individual effort beating Manolas and chipping Meret to seal the Milan victory.

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STARTING LINE-UP

Gianluigi Donnarumma: Gigio was fantastic against Napoli. He made saves and made his presence felt in the box. He could have done a bit better on the Napoli goal but he isn't the only one to blame on that matter. 6.5/10

Davide Calabria: Davide had a up and down match but overall was positive. Napoli were attacking on the right side throughout the match but Davide held strong. At times he struggled with overlapping runs which eventually led to the Napoli goal. 6.5/10

Simon Kjaer: Another great performance by Kjaer. His leadership in the back line is felt as you can see him yelling and conducting the players beside him. We need our centre backs to learn from him. 7/10

Alessio Romagnoli: Romagnoli continues his struggles. Playing with such a high line might not suit Alessio because he is very limited with his pace. Numerous times he was outrun by multiple Napoli players and this led to Napoli scoring chances. On the Napoli goal Alessio could have done much better at clearing the ball but instead he let it fall to Mertens. If this continues then it could be worrisome. 6/10

Theo Hernandez: It looks like all Theo needed was a rest and Rebic in front of him. Theo was great on both ends of the pitch. Solid on defence and speedy on offence. He was the one who Bakayoko challenged to get sent off and he was the one with the beautiful assist to Ibra. 7/10

Franck Kessie: Another monstrous performance form Kessie. His physicality on the pitch his unmatched as he bullies the opposition time and time again. His passing against Napoli was good as well as he hit a cross pitch pass to Calabria. However he was dispossessed which led to a Napoli goal. 6.7/10

Ismael Bennacer: Bennacer also continues to be great. His calmness with the ball against Napoli really showed. He was never flustered and took pressure well. Ismael was even confident enough to take a shot which we rarely see him do. 7/10

Alexis Saelemaekers: Saelemaekers didn't contribute much of anything offensively but on defence he made a big impact. He constantly tracked back to help Davide on the right flank and the pressing by Alexis was superb. 6/10

Hakan Calhanoglu: Hakan played a bit better against Napoli but he still isn't finding the form that he had during the end of last season. Hopefully this match was a step in the right direction for him. With Ibra potentially out he will be relied on more and more. 6.5/10

Ante Rebic: Rebic might be one of the most confusing players on the team because nobody knows what he is going to do. At times he had great dribbles moves then at other times he completely lost the ball. He did provide a beautiful assist to Ibra on the second goal but he could have gave Ibra a hat trick another time but played the ball in too late. 6.5/10

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Another 2 goal performance for the ageless wonder. Overall great again where the only downside was him getting injured. 7/10

SUBSTITUTES

Samu Castillejo: Samu came on and ran, basically all I can say about that. 5.5/10

Jans Petter Hauge: Hauge showed some nice flashes against Napoli. His goal was a brilliant effort and he seems to be deadly in front of goal. With Ibra and Leao out, Hauge might be giving the starting spot on the wing with Rebic up top.

Lorenzo Colombo: Like Hauge, Colombo had some flashes but his flashes weren't as bright. He tried to take on some defenders but unlucky for him that was usually Koulibaly. He showed a nice burst of pace but I doubt that he is the answer with Zlatan injured. 6/10

Rade Krunic: N/A