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Romagnoli shining for Milan

AC Milan
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Sumeet Paul blog profile  By Sumeet Paul

Milan out of Europe, but Calhanoglu exits with confidence-boosting 7/10

After dominating Milan in the first leg, Arsenal put the finishing touches on the Rossoneri at the Emirates to reach the Europa League quarterfinals.
Arsenal averted a European nightmare disaster after conceding early against AC Milan but came back to win 3-1 and 5-1 on aggregate as Arsene Wengers men advanced to the quarterfinals of the Europa League.
After dominating Milan in the first leg, Arsenal put the finishing touches on the Rossoneri at the Emirates to reach the Europa League quarterfinals.

AC Milan crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night with a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates, resulting in a 5-1 aggregate loss.

Hakan Calhanoglu had given the Rossoneri hope with the opening goal in the second leg, but a contentious penalty swung the tie back in Arsenal's favour as they advanced.

Positives

Milan looked more compact and composed for large periods and gave a good account of themselves to show they can compete at this level. Particularly compared to the first half of the first leg, it was a much improved display.

Negatives

The penalty decision changed the game and was undoubtedly a major negative in terms of Milan's hopes of turning the tie around. However, ultimately the damage was done at the San Siro last week, and that was the biggest disappointment over the two games.

Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Gennaro Gattuso switched to a 4-4-2 and it appeared to work well as Milan created good chances with two men up top while also leaving themselves less exposed in defence. It's a learning curve for them, and their coach had the right attitude in trying to mastermind a comeback.

Player ratings out of 10 (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 5 -- Made some good saves throughout the game. Unfortunately, he made a costly error in not stopping Granit Xhaka's effort, which essentially killed the tie. Will need to bounce back from that mistake quickly.

DF Fabio Borini, 6 -- Played well from a defensive perspective, and deserves further praise given he continues to show his versatility. But lacked any real quality going forward, aside from his cross to set up an excellent early chance for Andre Silva.

DF Leonardo Bonucci, 7 -- Pushed his side forward until the last minute with a real captain's display. Defended resolutely, and strode forward at times in search of an opening with his strikers failing to convert his deliveries.

DF Alessio Romagnoli, 6 -- Could perhaps harshly be attributed some blame for the third goal, but that incident aside, he was equally as solid defensively as Bonucci and continued to add composure on the ball to start off attacks.

DF Ricardo Rodriguez, 6 -- Had his hands full at times with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Hector Bellerin, and while he successfully stood up their qualities at times, was also caught out on occasion too. The Swiss international was unfortunate to be pulled up for the penalty.

Though Milan went out, Hakan Calhanoglu scored the opening goal and played well throughout.

MF Suso, 5 -- Another frustrating night for the Spaniard, as he wasn't able to influence the game in the same way that Milan fans have seen him step up in Serie A. Didn't have the decisive touch to deliver the right cross or make himself a goalscoring threat.

MF Franck Kessie, 7 -- A much-improved performance compared to the first leg, as he battled hard in midfield and showcased his physicality and determination on countless occasions. Much like Milan as a whole, he'll only get better with more experience at this level.

MF Riccardo Montolivo, 6 -- The game bypassed him in the latter stages as his fitness levels dropped, but played a key role on his return to the line-up in adding a bit more experience and calmness to the side. However, it's questionable if Milan can win games like this with an ageing stalwart in the heart of the team.

MF Hakan Calhanoglu, 7 -- Aside from the brilliant strike that gave Milan hope, he continued to work tirelessly off the ball and looked a threat at times. He will certainly have come away from this tie with a boost in his confidence and belief, with his goal alone potentially encouraging him to do more.

FW Patrick Cutrone, 5 -- Worked hard but physically he came off second best for the most part when going up against Shkodran Mustafi and the rest of the Arsenal backline. Had one crucial chance and spurned it, but he'll learn and be better with the experience.

FW Andre Silva, 5 -- Wasted a great opportunity in the opening minute that could have been decisive. Showed his quality running at defenders and creating for others, but he has to do much more to really take the next step and be a regular fixture in the starting lineup.

Substitutes

FW Nikola Kalinic, 5 -- Lacked pace to take advantage of an impressive through ball from Silva and had a tame header saved by David Ospina after great work from Bonucci. Not the impact off the bench that was needed.

MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 5 -- His introduction to the game didn't particularly change much as he merely offered fresh legs in midfield.

MF Manuel Locatelli, N/A -- Didn't have enough time to make a telling impact, but it was positive for him to at least get a few minutes in Europe to use as experience.

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

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