Rade Krunic and Diogo Dalot made the difference as AC Milan secured an important 2-0 win over Hellas Verona in Serie A on Sunday.
In a match that was sorely lacking in quality, the two goals came from the only shots on target till the latter stages of the game. In fact, between Hellas Verona and AC Milan, the teams managed a mere four shots on target, with the Rossoneri creating the better of chances, relatively speaking.
The opening goal came out of nothing as Rade Krunic scored a marvellous free-kick after winning it in the first place, just outside the Verona box. The game was then put to bed early in the second half as Diogo Dalot netted from close range after some fine work by Alexis Saelemaekers.
With Verona hardly posing a threat to Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal, the three points were secured with relative ease, and the 2-0 win meant AC Milan narrowed down the gap to Inter Milan to three points ahead of the Serie A leaders’ crunch fixture against Atalanta on Monday. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Stefano Pioli’s men.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 6/10
A straightforward outing for Donnarumma, who did not have a single save to make all game and kept a much-needed clean sheet.
Davide Calabria: 6/10
Not the best of performances by Calabria, who did not get enough opportunities to showcase his best qualities going forward, although he did play a game-high 3 key passes. Worked hard off the ball, as AC Milan snuffed out Verona’s potential openings with ease.
Fikayo Tomori: 7/10
A surprise starter ahead of Simon Kjaer, Tomori made an early error that nearly gifted Verona a goal. Thereafter, though, the Chelsea loanee hardly put a foot wrong, winning each of the ground duels he contested while also making a couple of big blocks in addition to 3 interceptions and 2 tackles. Solid work.
Alessio Romagnoli: 7/10
The standout performer for AC Milan on the day, Romagnoli played a key role in ensuring that Hellas Verona never got on top of the visitors on Sunday. Kept the defenders disciplined at the back while on a personal level, he won 8 of the 9 duels he contested in addition to completing 3 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 clearances. Colossal display. Rating gets bumped slightly because of a paltry 57 percent passing rate.
Diogo Dalot: 7/10
Diogo Dalot has scored his first ever league goal of his career.
What a strike. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/WfH0EwM8lS
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 7, 2021
Starting ahead of Theo Hernandez in the left-back slot, Dalot was not always comfortable in the role against Verona. However, he ended up scoring the goal that sealed the points for AC Milan and it was a peach of a finish too. Not too involved going forward while completing just 63 percent of the passes he attempted.
Soualiho Meite: 6/10
A solid day’s work by Meite, who ran his socks off and won 12 duels while making 3 interceptions, 2 tackles and 2 clearances. When on the ball, the winter arrival kept things simple but still managed to lose possession 13 times. Decent enough display, however.
Franck Kessie: 7/10
AC Milan’s workhorse in midfield was at it once again versus Verona. This time around, the Ivorian did not make a great deal of impact going forward and was, in fact, a bit sloppy at times. However, in the defensive phase, Kessie played a key role in shutting off the Verona threat, winning 15 duels while completing 6 tackles and 3 interceptions. A big display yet again.
Alexis Saelemaekers: 7/10
The man who made the difference in the creative sense for AC Milan against Verona. While the Belgian did not create too many openings, he posed the greatest threat in the final third and it was some fine work by him that eventually created the goal that Dalot scored to seal the win for Milan.
Rade Krunic: 7/10
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└📁 This angle of Krunic's goalpic.twitter.com/aMh73MqyQE
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) March 7, 2021
With Hakan Calhanoglu unavailable, Krunic was a surprise starter in the no. 10 role ahead of Brahim Diaz. The Bosnian midfielder did not pose a great deal of threat, although he did win the free-kick that he converted himself for what essentially turned out to be the match-winner. Did not do a whole lot of note going forward, but did put in the hard yards off the ball.
Samu Castillejo: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Castillejo. While the Spaniard did not put much of a foot wrong in the final third, where AC Milan needed to be clinical, he also did not manage to create anything of note, as the visitors struggled to break down the Verona defence consistently. Needs to do more in the creative sense.
Rafael Leao: 6/10
A frustrating out for Leao, who was left isolated for large parts of the game due to Verona’s outlook in the game. Despite that, though, the Portuguese forward managed to leave his mark on the game as his clever movement allowed Dalot to pounce and score the all-important second goal for AC Milan. Managed to play a couple of key passes but also missed a big chance.
Jens Petter Hauge: N/A
On for Castillejo, Hauge did not get enough time to make an impact, with AC Milan focusing on seeing the game out.