Andre Silva-Patrick Cutrone tandem comes to life vs. Austria Vienna
AC Milan sealed their place in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday night with an impressive 5-1 win over Austria Vienna to secure top spot in Group D.
A double from Andre Silva and Patrick Cutrone apiece along with a goal from Ricardo Rodriguez ensured the Rossoneri came from behind to secure all three points.
Milan's reaction to going behind was key, as had they not found a response almost immediately, it could have been a very difficult and frustrating night. The front duo took their chances well and Milan dictated the tempo of the game throughout to dominate possession.
The manner in which Milan conceded was disappointing, as it could have been avoided. It's difficult to pick out faults in a 5-1 win, but the slow start wasn't great while they were perhaps a little predictable in their build-up play, which will make life difficult against better opposition.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Vincenzo Montella got his selections right as almost every player on the pitch carried out their respective role well and it resulted in a comfortable win. However, the crucial factor now is that he has to show faith in these players against Torino on Sunday, namely sticking with Andre Silva and Patrick Cutrone instead of turning back to Nikola Kalinic up top.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6 -- Needs to be certain before committing to coming off his line as he was caught out by Christoph Monschein for the goal as he rushed out and didn't get to the ball first. Made a couple of smart saves in an otherwise comfortable enough night.
DF Mateo Musacchio, 7 -- It was a solid defensive performance as he had to cope with Felipe Pires and his pace, and did well for the most part. Was positive to see him do better on the ball too.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 6 -- On the whole, he was a commanding presence in defence and broke forward to add an attacking threat at times too. However, he gets marked down for being caught out trying to play a high line for the goal, before fluffing his lines with his goal-line clearance.
DF Cristian Zapata, 7 -- Used his pace effectively to stop potentially dangerous counter-attacks from the visitors, and although it was a generally quiet night for Milan defensively, he was impressive again.
MF Fabio Borini, 7 -- A great performance rewarded by the San Siro singing his name. The only thing that has been missing from this tireless workhorse is an end product from his deliveries from the right flank, and he finally produced the goods with two assists.
MF Franck Kessie, 5 -- Simply not his night. The Ivorian midfielder gave away possession too easily on far too many occasions, as he's lacking the self-confidence and commanding presence that we saw at the start of the season. Not a terrible display, but well below his best.
MF Lucas Biglia, 6 -- As we often get from Biglia, it was another steady performance from the experienced midfielder as he returned from injury. Still would like to see him try more and show more personality on the ball, but can be forgiven as he works on his fitness.
MF Hakan Calhanoglu, 6 -- The assist for Silva's second goal shows that the talent and decisive touch is there. It's just about unlocking it on a consistent basis and getting him on the ball in positions where he can make the difference. Hopefully with improved results he'll gain more freedom to try more.
MF Ricardo Rodriguez, 7 -- Moved back into a more natural position on the left wing, Rodriguez was efficient on the ball, alert in defence and popped up to score a goal too. An impressive outing for him as he continues to shine in Milan colours.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 8 -- While the two goals were impressive, putting them aside, it was a top all-round performance from the youngster. Showed passion, commitment and a willingness to attack and get stuck in as well as a nice touch while offering clever movement across the line.
FW Andre Silva, 8 -- Similarly to his attacking partner, scored two nice goals and was a constant threat with his technical quality on the ball, his runs off it and there were some reassuring signs of chemistry with Cutrone. The Portuguese ace must start against Torino on Sunday, with or without his young Italian teammate next to him.
DF Luca Antonelli, 6 -- Key in the build-up to the fifth goal, offered a fresh pair of legs down the left flank for the last 30 minutes.
MF Manuel Locatelli, NR -- A good cameo appearance in limited time, as he put himself about and showed glimpses of quality on the ball.
DF Gustavo Gomez, NR -- Gomez was a late replacement for Bonucci who picked up a knock as he made his first appearance of the season but had little to do.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.