A Zlatan Ibrahimovic-less AC Milan continued their unbeaten streak as they overcome Fiorentina 2-0 to extend their lead at the top of Serie A on Sunday.

Alessio Romagnoli scored his first of the season as Franck Kessie doubled the lead from the spot to give AC Milan a comfortable victory over Fiorentina. Milan were without a lot of notable absentees and will take a lot of confidence from this win.

It was Fiorentina that started the game on a high, only for Milan captain Romagnoli to score from a poorly defended set-piece. Moments later, Dusan Vlahovic came close to scoring when he struck the post with a powerful shot. However, it was Milan that ran the narrative from then on as they created an abundance of chances.

Alexis Saelemaekers earned a penalty that Kessie slotted in coolly. Soon after, it was Theo Hernandez who earned a penalty when he was brought down by Martin Caceres. Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski guessed the right way and palmed away Kessie’s rather tame penalty this time around.

The second half offered good chances to both sides, but neither team was able to capitalise. The game ended 2-0 and it was a fair victory for Milan, who impressed despite the absence of several key players. The Hard Tackle looks at how each of their players fared.

Gianluigi Donnarumma: 7/10

Donnarumma kept an all-important clean sheet versus Fiorentina. AC Milan had not kept a clean sheet since the first week of October and this one would help them breathe easier. Donnarumma, especially, would be most delighted. The Italian made crucial saves with the one-on-one with Franck Ribery the pick of those.

Davide Calabria: 7/10

Calabria has been a revelation for Milan in that right-back role. Calabria made 5 clearances and 9 tackles in a battle up against Ribery that was truly a joy to watch. Both players were shoulder to shoulder for the majority of the match and seemingly, Calabria came out on top. A valuable cog for Milan.

Simon Kjaer: 7/10

Kjaer has slowly become one of the most important players for Milan. His ever-present presence at the back is crucial to their run of good results. Kjaer was yet again at his best, keeping Fiorentina’s opportunities limited.

Alessio Romagnoli: 8/10

The captain of this mighty Milan team, Romagnoli needed a performance like this to get himself back on track. The Italian received a lot of criticism for his performance versus Napoli but we saw a different Romagnoli against Fiorentina. He was commanding at the back throughout the ninety and even scored a goal by popping up at the right place at the right time from a set-piece. He made 4 crucial clearances too.

Theo Hernandez: 7/10

Theo Hernandez was his usual tenacious self. He was constantly bombing down the left flank and won a penalty with a nice bit of skill as well. Along with his usual attacking exploits, Hernandez was solid at the back too. Fiorentina’s Jose Callejon was nowhere to be seen in the first half and eventually got subbed at half-time. Hernandez’s flank was marshalled very well by him.

Franck Kessie: 8/10

An eventful first half for Kessie, who assisted the first, scored a penalty and missed one too. Kessie was an imposing presence in the middle of the park – winning 7 out of his 11 ground duels and completing 3 successful dribbles. Despite the missed penalty, which turned out to be inconsequential anyway, Kessie had a fantastic performance and impressed everyone.

Sandro Tonali: 6.5/10

A slow start for Tonali, who earned a rare Serie A start. It was not the best of games for the prodigious Italian as he only registered 50 touches on the ball despite playing for 80 minutes. Tonali did slowly grow into the game, but it is clear he still needs time to be eased into the first team.

Alexis Saelemaekers: 7.5/10

A fantastic and energetic performance by Saelemaekers. The Belgian ran Fiorentina ragged with his tireless running and quick feet. He won the first penalty and came close to winning another. His dribbling and movement was intelligent, he also played 3 key passes. The 21 year-old is truly cementing his place in this Milan side.

Brahim Diaz: 6/10

Another one of Milan’s players who earned a rare start but failed to impress. After a terrific performance in midweek, there were high expectations from Diaz, but failed to get involved – registering no shots nor even attempting any crosses. It was a largely anonymous performance from the otherwise energetic Spaniard.

Hakan Calhanoglu: 7.5/10

A great performance from Calhanoglu, who deserved a goal or an assist for his performance. Calhanoglu had a busy afternoon registering 6 key passes and 8 crosses. His passing range is truly spectacular and he also showed that he isn’t afraid of testing the keeper. The Turk took 4 shots on the night, with the one that struck the post the most notable of those. He would feel that he was rather unlucky for that wonderful strike.

Ante Rebic: 6/10

A rather isolated figure as a striker, Rebic did his best to fill in for the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ran the channels hard and put in a real shift. He also won 3 aerial duels and created space for his teammates.

SUBSTITUTES

Rade Krunic: 6/10

An important introduction, Krunic came on for Diaz and helped Milan see the game out from midfield. Krunic won 3 out his 3 ground duels and also earned 2 fouls for his team.

Jens Petter Hague: 6/10

Did not misplace a single pass in his short cameo.

Diogo Dalot: N/A

Did no play enough to warrant a rating.

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