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Milan Player Ratings: Milan 3-0 Juventus

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For the first time in a decade Milan win to put them back into top 4

Juventus v AC Milan - Italian Serie A Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images

This match against Juventus was maybe the biggest match for AC Milan in a very long time, as it could decide the Champions League fate for both clubs. For the starting eleven Pioli decided to shake things up and give Brahim Diaz a surprise start. A lot of people, me included were shocked when this was announced but all faith in padre Pioli. Early on in the match both teams seemed nervous and cautious not to make any mistakes. For the majority of the first half not many chances were created by either team but there were a few moments where Gigio Donnarumma looked very shaky at the back and it gave fans many headaches. Then late in the half Federico Cheisa fouled Saelemaekers in the Juve half. Hakan stepped up to take the free kick and caused commotion in the box. The ball fell to Brahim Diaz and finessed it into the corner to give Milan the lead!

To begin the second half Milan knew that Juventus would attack more and they seemed content to sit back a bit and absorb the pressure. 12 minutes into the half Milan caught a break with a Juventus handball in the box. Kessie stepped up and missed as it was saved. I thought that this moment would be a tide shifter for the match but Milan held strong and continued to fight off Juventus. In the 78th minute Ante Rebic scored an absolutely beautiful goal to double the Milan lead. Then in the 82nd minute Fikayo Tomori tripled Milan’s lead and when I saw the ball go in I really almost cried real tears. With 3 matches left, can Milan pull off the Champions League?

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STARTING LINE-UP

Gianluigi Donnarumma: Gigio was very shaky at times early on in the match. His positioning was not great but as the match settled down so did he. He made a great save at the beginning of the second half to keep the lead. 6/10

Davide Calabria: Davide was fantastic in this match. He completely shut down Chiesa and didn't give him anything. Even when Ronaldo drifted to the right side Calabria had no struggles and it was a beautiful sight to see. 6.5/10

Simon Kjaer: Kjaer has been in poor form recently but against Juve he was fantastic. He shut down everything and commanded the defence. 6.5/10

Fikayo Tomori: Like Kjaer, Fik has not been in great form but he showed up here. He didn't make any mistakes defensively and he finally scored to end the game and give Milan the victory. 7/10

Theo Hernandez: This was Theo’s best game in a long time. At times his passing wasn't the best but he made some great darting runs going forward that tore through the Juventus defence. Theo was also solid defensively and that was a major departure from the last match against Juve. 6.5/10

Franck Kessie: Kessie was absolute class in this match. Yes, he did miss the pen but aside from that he was superb and even showed off some of his skills gliding past the Juve defence. 6.7/10

Ismael Bennacer: Bennacer was better in this match and he is slowly regaining his form prior to his injury. Of course, he wasn't perfect and there were some instances where he was too free with the ball and that could have cost Milan. 6/10

Alexis Saelemaekers: For me Alexis was great in this match. When he is out on the pitch he fights to the death and that is very valuable. He might not be the most skilled but he sure is useful for the club. 6.5/10

Hakan Calhanoglu: Hakan was like Jekyll and Hyde. In the first half he was absolutely horrible until he played the ball into the box for the free kick. In the second half he was better and created chances for the team, even leading to a Tomori goal. 6/10

Brahim Diaz: Diaz surprised me 100 percent in this match. I did not think he should have started but he proved me wrong and played well. Pioli gambled and it payed off with him scoring. 7/10

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Zlatan didn't get on the scoresheet but he had an impact on the match with his mentality and getting involved in the play. The only downside about his performance is that he got hurt but we will see how serous that injury will be. 6.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Ante Rebic: Ante came in at striker and played great. He was the focal man going forward and he took everything that came to him just like Ibra does. Ante even scored a rocket of a goal and was stone cold celebrating. 6.5/10

Rade Krunic: Rade came on and I was baffled but Pioli didn't have many options. However, Rade didn't play that bad and actually did was he was supposed to do. He was calm, cool and collected. 6/10

Diogo Dalot: N/A

Soualiho Meite: N/A

Manager

Stefano Pioli: Pioli gambled starting Diaz but man did that gamble pay off. Milan looked like a well oiled side and his tactics outclassed Pirlo. This was the Milan that we saw at the end of last season and the first half of this season. But only one question remains, can they keep this up for the rest of the season? 7/10