Suso 8/10, Gianluigi Donnarumma 7/10 in AC Milan's emphatic win
AC Milan finally put on a clinical display as they secured a 4-1 win over Sassuolo on Sunday night. A double from Suso coupled with goals from Franck Kessie and Samu Castillejo sealed the three points, with the Rossoneri also boosting morale having held on to their lead after recent disappointments.
Although there is still improvement needed in the overall performance, Milan produced real quality in the final third with their goals and showed a better attitude and reaction in holding on to their lead even after conceding. It will certainly be seen as progress.
While Sassuolo are a good side in terms of their style of play, Milan often let them settle and play their game in the first half. Given the quality in Milan's line-up, they should have perhaps had a better sense of control over the game while they looked slightly disjointed at times off the ball with their pressing.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- With the pressure increasing after three consecutive draws in Serie A, Gennaro Gattuso deserves praise this week. Kept his side compact and confident that they'd get back on track, all without a fully-fit striker at his disposal as he got what was needed out of his front three to pick up the win.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 7 -- While he dealt with danger well throughout as he commanded his box with crosses coming in, he deserves special praise for a crucial save in the first half with the game still goalless that ensured Milan remained on track for a win.
DF Ignazio Abate, 6 -- Struggled in one-on-one situations as he has lost a step in terms of pace which hurts him both defensively and going forward. However, he must be credited for a pivotal last-ditch tackle in the first half to deny Sassuolo a certain goal in a decisive contribution.
DF Mateo Musacchio, 6 -- Overall, the Argentine centre-half produced another decent performance as he kept Sassuolo's attack quiet for the most part. Nevertheless, his awareness and positioning can be questionable at times, which almost saw Milan punished in the first half.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 7 -- Produced a great response after his horror mistake last time out, as he marshalled the backline well, was defensively sound throughout and continued to push forward to help build attacks.
DF Ricardo Rodriguez, 6 -- A solid display on his return to the starting line-up, as he carried out his defensive duties with minimal fuss and got forward when possible. Diego Laxalt should arguably feel aggrieved to have been dropped after his impressive performance last time out, but Rodriguez made a strong case in response.
MF Franck Kessie, 8 -- Having been heavily criticised in recent weeks for his wastefulness in front of goal, the combative midfield ace showed the quality that he possesses with a great solo run and finish to break the deadlock. Aside from his goal though, used his physicality and presence well to win the midfield battle.
MF Lucas Biglia, 7 -- Albeit his early yellow card sparked concern, the experienced midfield stalwart provided an important defensive shield in front of the backline throughout. Made countless interceptions and tackles, and was a calming influence as Sassuolo's second-half pressure built.
MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 7 -- Worked hard off the ball in a tireless performance and was a willing runner throughout to get forward and support attacks. Produced a great pass to set Suso on his way for his first goal, but a decent shift from the Italian midfielder overall to help secure the victory.
FW Suso, 8 -- Aside from ending his wait for a competitive goal, which stretched back to April, the Spaniard was the best player on the pitch for Milan. His first was a superb goal, and he was a constant menace for the Sassuolo defence with his direct running and trickery down the right flank.
FW Samu Castillejo, 7 -- With the circumstances in mind given he was deployed in a false nine role before switching out to the wing, the Spaniard produced a good performance. However, he also produced a moment of real quality with his brilliant strike to score his first Serie A goal for the club.
FW Hakan Calhanoglu, 6 -- Improvement on his recent performances, so it will be hoped that the Turkish playmaker is breaking out of his slow start to the season. Must improve his consistency and quality on the ball though, with Milan still waiting for the decisive star from last season to reappear.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 6 -- Still doesn't look 100 per cent having come back from a recent ankle injury, but put himself about and offered more of a focal point up front to help Milan see out the win.
MF Diego Laxalt, N/R -- Added energy and purpose down the left flank to support Rodriguez in the latter stages and give Milan fresh impetus on the counter attack.
DF Davide Calabria, N/R -- No time at all to make a positive impact on the game as he simply replaced Abate late on to offer a fresh pair of legs in defence.