Cutrone and Calabria lead AC Milan to win in solid team effort
AC Milan dug deep and showed flashes of real quality to secure a 2-1 win over Lazio on Sunday night. Goals from Patrick Cutrone and Giacomo Bonaventura sealed the victory, which makes it three consecutive wins in Serie A as the Rossoneri climb to joint seventh place.
At times, Milan played some great football and had that bit of quality required to unlock a top team like Lazio, as seen with both goals. It was a gritty effort to hold on for the win and it builds further momentum and confidence.
To concede so soon after taking the lead was a massive disappointment, while Milan surrendered too much possession at times as they tried to keep Lazio at bay. Results are coming now, but perhaps they need to be more assertive and in control of games.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Gennaro Gattuso deserves plenty of praise for this win, as it's no easy task defeating a club like Lazio. The team was prepared well and were tactically organised. Still early to be entirely convinced, but wins over the top sides in Serie A will do Gattuso no harm in his bid to keep hold of the job.
Player ratings out of 10 (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6 -- Received some criticism for the goal, which was arguably a little harsh. That aside, he made one key save to deny Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at a crucial time in the game and was commanding in his area.
DF Davide Calabria, 8 -- Superb performance from the versatile full-back who started on the right before ending the game on the left and was equally as efficient on both flanks. Defensively solid and produced a quality delivery for the second goal, it was a top display from the youngster.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 7 -- Lost out on some aerial duels and was troubled on occasion, but overall, it was a decent performance from the captain who did his job in keeping things tight at the back by organising his troops and staying compact.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 7 -- Slightly more convincing that his central defensive partner as he anticipated attacks better and was quick in the tackle. Quietly goes about his business, a real pillar at the back though.
DF Luca Antonelli, 6 -- To his credit -- given he hasn't played a great deal of football this season -- it was a solid effort from the veteran who was filling in for the suspended Ricardo Rodriguez. Defended poorly for the goal, but kept bombing forward as always to support the attack.
MF Franck Kessie, 7 -- His physicality, athleticism and combativeness were crucial in midfield, as he helped gain a foothold over Lazio while breaking forward as an offensive threat too. Wasteful on the ball at times, but it was a good showing.
MF Lucas Biglia, 7 -- Did a great job providing a shield in front of the defence, as he was constantly breaking up play. Would be nice to see him do more with the ball though, as he often keeps it too simple and could play a little more direct and with urgency.
MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 7 -- Not always influential in the game but did have his moments and scored the crucial second goal. Great run to break into the box and finished superbly, key that he contributes more in the final third.
FW Suso, 5 -- It's obvious that the Spaniard is struggling right now. Couldn't find his range with his attempts on goal or delivery into the box and kept giving possession away. Arguably trying too much to get out of his rut, but needs the support of the fans to help him get back on track.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 7 -- Replays would suggest that he was fortunate his goal counted, but got into a dangerous position and proved again he can find the back of the net. Constant menace for the Lazio backline with his grit, movement and clever runs and has earned a more permanent spot in the lineup.
FW Hakan Calhanoglu, 7 -- The Turkey international just keeps getting better and it's a delight to see. There's still room for further improvement but he grabbed an assist and had some dangerous efforts on goal. Importantly, he's now finding space, demanding the ball and driving at defenders regularly as his confidence is now back.
FW Andre Silva, 5 -- It's difficult to fairly rate his outings as getting 20 minutes here and there isn't going to help him reach peak form. Didn't really have a telling impact on the game, almost latched on to a great Suso cross.
DF Ignazio Abate, 6 -- Added a bit more energy to see out the win as he battled on the right flank to ensure Lazio didn't have any joy.
FW Fabio Borini, N/A -- A brief outing as he put himself about to help Milan hold on to their lead in the closing stages.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.