AC Milan squandered yet another lead as they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Empoli on Thursday night. Lucas Biglia’s deflected effort gave the Rossoneri an early lead, but as has been the case on countless occasions so far this season, they failed to hold on to that advantage and dropped more points.
A slight dip in the latter stages aside, Milan were in control in the first half and but for their wastefulness in front of goal, they looked more than capable of securing all three points. Playing with urgency and intensity on and off the ball, they impressed for the most part in the opening 45 minutes.
As has been the case in every game so far this season, Milan haven’t been able to put together a solid 90-minute performance. Empoli began to threaten as the first half went on, and they seized control in the early part of the second. It took the equaliser to spark the Rossoneri back into action.
Manager rating out of 10
4 — While he can’t be blamed for individual errors and poor play from his attacking stars, Gennaro Gattuso has to hold his hands up. Milan clearly dropped off and played with less intensity to start the second half, and given it was a collective switch it had to be a tactical instruction from the coach. It gave Empoli the initiative, and Milan were ultimately punished for it.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 7 — Made two key saves in the first half to deny Empoli. Given that he had little else to do throughout the game, it was impressive to see him maintain that level of concentration and be ready when called upon.
DF Davide Calabria, 6 — Although he was caught out defensively at times, he’s showing growth and improvement in other facets of his game. Defended well in certain situations and continued to run tirelessly up and down the right flank to offer Suso support.
DF Mateo Musacchio, 5 — Looks vulnerable to balls over the top and has yet to fully convince that he’s a reliable figure at the back. Looked panicked in possession at times, too, needlessly giving possession away.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 4 — Thanks in part to countless interceptions, the captain was putting in a borderline perfect performance up until the incident leading to the penalty. Due to that disastrous error though, he gets marked down severely as it ultimately proved very costly to Milan.
DF Diego Laxalt, 7 — On the basis of this performance, it will surely be difficult for Ricardo Rodriguez to get his place back. The Uruguay international defended with tenacity, and every time he got hold of the ball he was positive and played with urgency. His display was one of the highlights of the game.
MF Franck Kessie, 5 — For all his great work in midfield from a defensive perspective and the effort and energy he puts in, his finishing is still woeful and it’s proving costly. Had two great chances to kill the game off in the first half, and while he drew a good save with the first, he should have buried the chance.
MF Lucas Biglia, 7 — The midfield stalwart put in a solid performance and was one of the few players that continued to press and harass Empoli in possession to show some urgency until the end. While he was fortunate with the deflection, it was a good strike for his goal.
MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 6 — Looked tired as the game went on, and struggled to show that decisiveness needed in the final third. Continued to make his dangerous runs through the middle though and never gave up in probing for a goal.
FW Suso, 6 — The Spaniard was Milan’s biggest threat as the game progressed, but it’s not entirely positive that the team slipped back into the habit of giving him the ball to make something happen. Unfortunate too, as he had some great attempts on goal but was foiled time and time again.
FW Fabio Borini, 4 — Could be praised for his work ethic but he wasn’t asked to simply run around and put himself about. Offered no quality in the final third with his hold-up play or as an attacking threat, with Bologna often even comfortable enough to leave him in 1v1 situations.
FW Hakan Calhanoglu, 5 — Miles off the classy playmaker that was finding his feet last season, as he simply couldn’t influence the game in a positive way. Sloppy in possession and unable to create chances, he’s struggling to warrant his place in the lineup.
FW Patrick Cutrone, N/R — Looked to be struggling with his ankle injury still and was unable to have his usual impact off the bench.
FW Samu Castillejo, N/R — Offered something more direct with his play but didn’t particularly make Milan look any more likely to score.
MF Tiemoue Bakayoko, N/R — Produced a decent cameo appearance, injecting a bit more physicality and urgency in midfield in the latter stages.