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Sumeet Paul blog profile  By Sumeet Paul

Alessio Romagnoli shines for Milan on Rome return, Niang off the boil again

AC Milan fell to their fourth defeat of the season on Monday night as they suffered a 1-0 loss against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Radja Nainggolan's strike was all that separated the two sides, as the hosts moved three points clear of the Rossoneri in second place in the Serie A table.

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Game Details

Positives

Milan had their chances and fought until the end to try and get a positive result and looked a match for Roma. Vincenzo Montella insisted after the game that his side didn't deserve to lose the game and he'll try to focus on plenty of positives from this outing.

Negatives

The missed penalty from M'Baye Niang was a massive turning point, as the game could have been completely different had he taken the chance. There was an element of inexperience dealing with a big-game environment too and it has left Milan looking over their shoulder.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- With Giacomo Bonaventura and Juraj Kucka missing, Montella was robbed of two key individuals. His starting line-up was as expected albeit with the inclusion of Andrea Bertolacci, while he was limited with in-game decisions and kept things as fresh as possible.

Player Ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6 -- Did well to deny Edin Dzeko with some smart saves, and overall had a solid game. Arguably could have done better on the goal though, as although it was a quality strike, it looked as though he didn't get his angles right.

DF Ignazio Abate, 6 -- The captain produced a solid defensive display as he showed his commitment and quality. Was given a few headaches by the likes of Emerson Palmieri, but he can be pleased with his individual effort.

DF Gabriel Paletta, 6 -- The experienced centre-half did well to limit Dzeko's threat and it was another decent performance from him alongside Alessio Romagnoli.

DF Alessio Romagnoli, 7 -- Didn't receive the greatest of receptions on his return to his former club, but showed his maturity and improvement to deal with it. The Italian international was defensively solid and key in building play from the back as he compliments Paletta well.

DF Mattia De Sciglio, 6 -- Had his hands full with the likes of Bruno Peres and Diego Perotti, but stood up to the challenge and did well. However, it's a similar criticism of him again this week in terms of his attacking play, or lack of.

MF Mario Pasalic, 6 -- The Chelsea loanee produced another good display and worked hard to retrieve the ball and help Milan fight the midfield battle. While he has certainly improved, you still have to question if he will keep Kucka out of the team moving forward.

AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli
Alessio Romagnoli was a rock in the heart of AC Milan's defence.

MF Manuel Locatelli, 6 -- Had to dig in and combat Roma's midfield, and a bigger criticism of him would be losing Nainggolan in the build-up to the goal. Not as influential as he has been in recent weeks, but it's all part of the learning curve that the 18-year-old is going through.

MF Andrea Bertolacci, 6 -- Given how long he's been out of action with injury, it was a welcome sight to see the midfielder return to the starting line-up. Although he didn't have the legs to compete for a full 90 minutes, he proved to Montella that he's ready to step up and deliver while he also showed his creative ability with the ball leading to the penalty.

FW Suso, 6 -- A real threat in the first half for the visitors, but faded in the second and overall he'll be disappointed not to have contributed more. Remained one of Milan's more creative sparks though and will hope to regain that decisiveness in the final third next time out.

FW Gianluca Lapadula, 6 -- The Roma backline did their best to keep the in-form striker quiet, and they did a pretty decent job. Nevertheless, you know what you're getting from Lapadula as he showcased his usual tireless work ethic while also winning the penalty with a great run followed by composure before being brought down.

FW M'Baye Niang, 5 -- It's the same old story with Niang as ultimately his decision-making and overall threat hasn't shown much sign of improvement on a consistent basis. Aside from losing the ball regularly, he missed a second penalty this week and his confidence will surely be at an all-time low.

Substitutes

MF Mati Fernandez, 5 -- A determined performance for the last 20 minutes or so, but not enough to get around the Roma midfield as he'll hope to improve having come back from injury.

FW Luiz Adriano, N/A -- Was unable to offer Milan the goal threat that was needed in the latter stages of the game.

FW Keisuke Honda, N/A -- Introduced for the last 10 minutes but unfortunately didn't contribute much.

Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.

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