Alessio Romagnoli gets 7/10 as Milan post fourth straight clean sheet
AC Milan booked their place in the round of 16 of the Europa League on Thursday night with Fabio Borini scoring the only goal in a win over Ludogorets Razgrad. The Rossoneri advance 4-0 on aggregate, as they now wait for Friday's draw to determine who they will face next.
There was no drama at the San Siro in the second leg, as Milan produced a professional performance to get the job done with minimal fuss. Gennaro Gattuso also managed to rotate his side and rest key players on a positive night overall.
Despite the win, there was a lack of fluency and quality in Milan's play for the most part as they looked a little blunt in attack. Given the circumstances though, it's difficult to be too critical as they progressed comfortably.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- With huge clashes against Roma, Lazio and Inter coming up in the space of a week, Gattuso managed the team perfectly. Key players were rested, while others came off as the game went on. All of his decisions were spot on.
Player ratings out of 10 (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Antonio Donnarumma, 7 -- Not the busiest of nights, but he stepped up when called upon to make some key saves and was constantly barking out orders to organise his backline in a solid but rare outing.
DF Ignazio Abate, 6 -- The veteran was defensively sound even when he had his hands full with the pacy and tricky Ludogorets forwards. Used his pace and experience well to limit their joy down his flank.
DF Cristian Zapata, 7 -- Comfortable night for the defensive ace, as he kept things tight at the back and showed good concentration and composure to deliver a top display having not featured for a while.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 7 -- He produced yet another top performance as he has found a high level and is consistently delivering. Snuffed out any danger whether it was attacks through the middle or crosses into the box, and he must continue this vein of form.
DF Ricardo Rodriguez, 6 -- The Swiss international has a big week coming up as Milan's next opponents will all test him defensively. Put in another solid shift from a defensive perspective, but still lacking that quality going forward to make a difference.
MF Franck Kessie, 7 -- Sitting out against Sampdoria may have done him good as he looked fresh and full of energy. Imposed himself on the game well, using his physicality to dominate the midfield and break forward when possible.
MF Manuel Locatelli, 6 -- Arguably didn't make the most of his opportunity to impress in a rare start, but it's difficult to come in and deliver immediately. Showed positive signs with his quick passing between the lines and swept up well defensively at times, but was still too sloppy and took risks.
MF Riccardo Montolivo, 7 -- Looks reinvigorated under Gattuso, as he's playing with a bit more urgency and energy while showing quickness of feet to keep attacks moving. Worked hard and was good in possession.
FW Fabio Borini, 7 -- Bagged his fourth goal of the season in another industrious performance. Continues to deliver when called upon, and it's great to see him receive plenty of praise having put in the hard work since the start of the campaign.
FW Andre Silva, 6 -- Another individual who arguably missed his chance to make an impression. The Portuguese international did show glimpses of his class in linking play up, but didn't look confident or ever like scoring. Didn't have a great deal of creativity around him, but still needs to do more.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 7 -- Played out of position on the left flank and although he did look awkward at times, he still put in a tireless shift and provided the assist for Borini's goal. Would be a surprise if he doesn't start in the trio of big games coming up.
MF Jose Mauri, 6 -- Hasn't played in months but he came on and put himself about in midfield. Snapped away at players off the ball and added some energy and combativeness in midfield to see out the win.
FW Nikola Kalinic, 5 -- Was a little selfish in possession at times, but he won countless free kicks with his clever play on the ball to keep Milan in control.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, NR -- Brought on to give Romagnoli a rest for the last 15 minutes, picked up a booking but slotted in well to secure the victory.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.