Andre Silva, AC Milan blanked again by AEK Athens in Europe
After 180 minutes of football home and away, AC Milan were unable to break down AEK Athens as they were held to another goalless draw, this time in Greece on Thursday. Riccardo Montolivo hit the post for the Rossoneri, but they rarely looked like finding the back of the net in another drab performance as the pressure continues to increase on Vincenzo Montella.
Not losing the game is arguably the only positive to really take. Milan remain top of Group D and picked up an important point away from home to ensure that they are still in control of their own fate.
It was simply a case of different game, same story. There was no fluidity or cohesion to Milan's play, as they didn't even have a touch in AEK's penalty box in the first half. The Rossoneri look devoid of ideas, direction, quality and confidence, and it all resulted in another awful performance.
Manager rating out 10
4 -- It's questionable now as to how long Montella has left. His players aren't impressing and they deserve a share of the blame. However, given the way in which they're struggling to break teams down, to adapt and to make the crucial tactical changes, it all unfortunately points to him as they're not set up to make the most of the quality in the side.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6 -- AEK had him scrambling on occasion, but he was rarely troubled in terms of being forced into making a key save.
DF Mateo Musacchio, 5 -- Had problems defensively as he was caught out at times, while his distribution was very poor as he often surrendered possession and lacked any sort of composure.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 6 -- After two games on the sidelines due to suspension, the Milan captain produced a solid defensive performance. He reassuringly looked more commanding as he cut out the mistakes that have hindered him so far this season.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 6 -- It was another impressive defensive performance from Romagnoli as he produced key interceptions and read play well throughout the game. As always, good on the ball and is now looking to be hitting top form again.
MF Fabio Borini, 6 -- It was another tireless effort from the versatile Italian, as he can't be faulted for effort and commitment. However, he couldn't produce a telling contribution in the attacking phase, which always seems to be his downfall.
MF Manuel Locatelli, 5 -- A missed opportunity to cement his place in the starting lineup ahead of Lucas Biglia. Too many inaccurate passes , messy tackles and not enough influence on the game as he failed to impress.
MF Riccardo Montolivo, 6 -- Started poorly along with the rest of the team and given the overall performance, perhaps this rating is a little generous. However, he did grow into the encounter as his influence increased, and had Milan's best chance after striking the post.
MF Ricardo Rodriguez, 5 -- A tidy performance with no real issues, but arguably could of done more going forward as he was a little too quiet in terms of offering more quality and a different dynamic to Milan's attack.
MF Hakan Calhanoglu, 5 -- Desperate to see the Turkish international succeed, but he seems to continue to struggle with the pressure of being a leading creative figure in this team. Lacked composure on the ball necessary to make a difference, and ultimately went missing as the game went on.
FW Andre Silva, 5 -- It's difficult to be too hard on Silva, as when the defence is lofting clearances forward with no real thought, he was essentially feeding off scraps. However, his hold-up play and linking up of Milan's attacks could have been better when dropping back while he never got a sniff in front of goal.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 5 -- Replaced at half-time and it was a similar story to Silva in the opening 45 minutes. Lacked the fight and determination that he usually shows though which was disappointing, but in fairness didn't have the service to do much.
FW Suso, 6 -- Added a bit more spark to Milan's play, but didn't have a decisive impact on the game in the second half. It's a concern in itself that Milan rely so heavily on him to make the difference in every game.
MF Franck Kessie, 5 -- Tried to offer some steel and presence in midfield for the Rossoneri and he did make a difference but that wasn't enough to really give his side a foothold and a base to drive forward from.
FW Nikola Kalinic, NR -- Introduced for the last 10 minutes, similarly to his fellow strikers though, he couldn't trouble the AEK backline.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.