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Milan Player Ratings: Milan 2-0 Cagliari

A double for Zlatan gives Milan the victory

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-CAGLIARI-AC MILAN Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

After an Inter Milan win versus Juventus the pressure was on AC Milan to maintain their lead at the top of the table against Cagliari. Heading into this match Milan were still riddled with injuries, suspensions and Covid. However this match did see the full return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Milan got off to a very hot start as they were awarded a penalty just five minutes into the match. Yes, this was the right call. Zlatan stepped up and buried it to give Milan a 1-0 lead. Milan looked very in control from that point on. Of course, Cagliari came forward but the Milan defence held strong not allowing many chances on target. On the offensive side Milan did have some creative play in the first half but Hauge and Castillejo couldn't find that key play to break open the defence. In the 36th minute Calabria came so close to bumping up his scoring tally but he just narrowly hit the post. At the half Milan held their lead.

The second half told a much similar story to the first. Milan scored again early on but at the moment it was called offside. Upon a review from VAR they concluded that Ibra was in fact onside and the goal stood, Milan up 2-0. Cagliari answered back with a golden chance of their own but Gigio Donnarumma stood strong making a great save. In the second half Milan welcomed Soualiho to the club and welcomed back Alexis Saelemaekers back from injury. Saelemaekers didn't have the best return to action as he got two yellow with less than 10 minutes of being on the pitch. Down to 10 men Milan had to defend well to get the victory and clean sheet. Thankfully Milan did just that and got another important 3 points.

STARTING LINE-UP

Gianluigi Donnarumma: Gigio really only had to make one save but that was a damn good save to keep the clean sheet. I also like how vocal Gigio has become on the pitch directing the defence. 6.5/10

Davide Calabria: The emergence of Calabria has helped Milan so much. His defensive ability allows Milan to stick him in 1v1 situations on the right and majority of the time he wins the battle. Plus he almost scored again. 6.5/10

Simon Kjaer: Kjaer again was solid but it was worrisome to see that he didn't play the second half. Thankfully it seems it is just a pain in his lower back and he shouldn't sit out any matches. 6.5/10

Alessio Romagnoli: Like Kjaer, Alessio was solid at the back and aside from one chance Cagliari couldn't muster up anything. 6.5/10

Diogo Dalot: Dalot failed to impress me again. I just don't think he brings anything above average to the team at the moment. His defending at times was subpar and he didn't show any amazing offensive ability. 5.7/10

Franck Kessie: Franck as per usual had a good match and it is great to see the player that he has blossomed into. I would have liked to see Franck get some rest at the end of the match but I do see why Pioli left him on as Milan only had 10 men. 6.7/10

Sandro Tonali: Another good game from Sandro. It seems at though he is finally settling into the team. He did a good job at distributing the ball and recovered well on defence. 6.5/10

Samu Castillejo: I wish Samu put on a great performance on his birthday but he didn't, another Samu performance. 5.5/10

Brahim Diaz: Brahim had some nice moments and that pass to Ibra for the first goal was very nice. With Hakan out, Brahim will have his opportunity to shine. 6/10

Jans Petter Hauge: Right now Hauge isn't ready for these big time minutes. You can see that he is overthinking rather than just playing and when you overthink you most likely get the ball stolen. 5/10

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: A full Ibra return saw him score 2 goals and again look superhuman. 6.7/10

SUBSTITUTES

Pierre Kalulu: Kalulu continues to impress with his athletic ability and ability to read the play. I think he has so much potential and in his natural position he could impress even more. 6.5/10

Alexis Saelemaekers: Saelemaekers was dumb getting those yellow cards, the second one might have been harsh but you cannot put yourself in that position. 3/10

Soualiho Meite: A decent little debut for Meite but it is clear he still doesn't know where to be as you could hear Pioli yelling from the sideline. 6/10

Andrea Conti: A potential farewell to Conti in what could have been his final game for Milan. N/A