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Understanding the mess in Milan

AC Milan
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Transfer Rater: Morata to AC Milan

Football Whispers
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Sumeet Paul blog profile  By Sumeet Paul

Suso, Kalinic, Borini 4/10 as Milan stumble to 3-0 defeat at Verona

Borini, left, and Milan's attack was woeful in Sunday's heavy defeat at Verona.
Borini, left, and Milan's attack was woeful in Sunday's heavy defeat at Verona.

After some positive signs in their past two games, AC Milan took a huge backward step in Sunday's 3-0 defeat at Verona. The scoreline flattered the hosts with the Rossoneri controlling the game and dominating possession for the most part, but it was an infuriatingly disappointing display.

Positives

Milan were in the ascendancy early on, showing confidence on the ball and were patient as it looked a matter of time before they got a breakthrough. In turn, Gennaro Gattuso should feel aggrieved as they didn't take their chances.

Negatives

All three goals conceded were poor and with such a heavy defeat in a game Milan were expected to win, it's naturally going to erode any confidence that was being built. Milan had plenty of possession but not enough ideas to be effective.

Manager rating out of 10

4 -- It's a struggle to understand Gattuso's decisions, as he started Nikola Kalinic again along with Fabio Borini on the left flank. In addition, the change to bring on Patrick Cutrone at half-time was perfect but to replace Ricardo Rodriguez was questionable.

Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
AC MilanAC Milan
3
0
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Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 5 -- Little he could have done for any of the three goals as he was left badly exposed by his defence. Had little else to do as Verona were clinical with the only chances they really had.

DF Davide Calabria, 5 -- Plenty of running from him but not enough quality on the ball to match it. Whether it was his overall distribution or crossing into the box, he simply needs to do better.

DF Leonardo Bonucci, 5 -- Not a particularly commanding performance from the captain. He was poor along with his central defensive partner with the marking on the second and third goals.

DF Alessio Romagnoli, 5 -- Similar story to Bonucci as he wasn't defensively sound, especially after his booking. It was too easy for Verona to cut it back for the last two goals with the two centre-halves needing to do much better.

DF Ricardo Rodriguez, 5 -- Romulo posed him problems but the Switzerland international was decent defensively. Need to see more from him going forward as he has plenty of quality on the ball but a lack of options in the box isn't helping him, nor is it necessarily his fault.

MF Franck Kessie, 5 -- In 27 appearances this season, Kessie has just two goals and three assists. That simply isn't good enough from him as he continues to get into great positions but isn't decisive enough. He may well battle hard but more is needed especially in these games.

MF Riccardo Montolivo, 5 -- Raised reservations before the game that the veteran was playing a lot of minutes in a short space of time. Felt as though he was going to struggle to maintain his impressive level in recent games and that was the case. Showed glimpses of class but too many errors on the ball were costly and he showed a lack of drive and invention in a key role.

MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 5 -- A drop-off from his recent performances and it hurt Milan as they needed his inventiveness in the final third. One of the crucial factors in why Milan had no cutting edge as the responsibility to make things happen falls on his shoulders.

FW Suso, 4 -- Produced some great moments of skill for a highlight reel but ultimately, when it mattered, there was no end product. From long-range shots that sailed off target to a lack of quality in his delivery, his bad afternoon was rounded off with a late sending off.

FW Nikola Kalinic, 4 -- Any player deployed up front with the way Milan play is going to struggle. However, he doesn't help himself as aside from a couple of flicks and some off-target shots that didn't threaten, he doesn't create enough problems for the opposition to give the Rossoneri an edge up top.

FW Fabio Borini, 4 -- All well and good being a utility man and running tirelessly for the team but especially when deployed in a more attacking role, he doesn't have the necessary quality to be a threat. The left-wing role is a real problem for Milan.

Substitutes

FW Patrick Cutrone, 5 -- If his teammates aren't creating for him, there's not a great deal he can do. Offered intensity and effort as always, but couldn't have a decisive impact on the game.

FW Andre Silva, 5 -- Think it's a little harsh to continue to be critical of the Portugal international when he's given the odd 20 minutes or so to do something. Needs a good run of games as a starter to avoid being labelled a flop.

MF Manuel Locatelli, 5 -- It was a decent cameo appearance as he tends to move the ball quicker and find players in between the lines. Not a great impact but arguably needs to start again soon.

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

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