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Milan 0-1 AS Roma: Match report and player ratings as De Rossi’s men end Rossoneri’s unbeaten run

AS Roma beat Milan at the San Siro to take a one-goal advantage into their Europa League quarter-final second leg.

Gianluca Mancini made the difference for AS Roma in an action-packed Europa League quarter-final clash against Milan at the San Siro on Thursday night. After scoring the only goal against Lazio in Saturday’s Rome Derby, Mancini again became Roma’s hero with his 18th-minute header from a Paulo Dybala corner against Milan.

De Rossi’s side managed to beat Milan for the first time in seven years after producing a strong performance at San Siro. Stefano Pioli’s team was also unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions. Roma could win the game with an even greater advantage, as Milan stars failed to show up in front of their fans in an entertaining match.

With this result, Milan’s nine-match unbeaten run against Roma came to an end on Thursday night. Roma, who lost last season’s Europa League final, now has a great opportunity to win the tie at the Stadio Olimpico next week.

Milan vs AS Roma: Play-by-Play

Photo via Getty Images

AS Roma started the game with a new system: De Rossi used Pellegrini wide left, El Shaarawy was on the right, and Dybala had a free role.

Reijnders tried his chance with a shot from outside the box in the 9th minute, but Roma’s keeper denied him with a good reaction. Roma came close to scoring after El Shaarawy’s effort from Lukaku’s cross took a deflection, but Maignan saved his team with a superb save.

Roma took the lead in the 18th minute after defender Gianluca Mancini scored with a header from Dybala’s corner.

Four minutes later, Oliver Giroud could level the game from a corner, but Lukaku cleared the ball off the line. Before the half time, Milan midfielder Reijnders again tested Svilar with a shot from the edge of the box, but the goalkeeper denied him.

De Rossi’s men were the better team in the first half and silenced the San Siro crowd after Mancini scored from the corner. Milan failed to create any dangerous opportunity other than a couple of Reijnders shots from the edge of the box.

Giroud missed glorious chance to equalise

Roma continued its dominant performance in the second half as Pellegrini had a decent chance to score after a one-two with Lukaku, but his left-footed effort went wide of the post in the 60th minute. Just like the first 45 minutes, the visitors were far likelier to score than Pioli’s side at the start of the second half.

Roma keeper Svilar again was alert to danger and sent Adli’s effort over the top in the 75th minute. The ball reached Rafael Leao in a dangerous position, but defenders blocked his shot.

Milan started to push more in the last minutes, and they came closest to scoring in the 88th minute, but Giroud hit the bar. The ball reached Giroud inside the six-yard box after a run from Chukwueze on the right confused Roma’s defense. However, the Frenchman missed this chance to equalize as the ball clipped the top of the bar, and flew over!

Roma decided to sit deep in the second half and protect their lead. Their game plan was working until the final few minutes when Chukwueze broke into the penalty area and squared the ball to Giroud. However, luck was on Roma’s side as the ball hit the bar and went behind.

Milan Player Ratings (4-2-3-1)

Photo via Getty Images

Maignan (GK) – 6/10: He made a couple of good saves, and was not at fault for Roma’s goal.

Calabria (RB) – 6/10: Apart from losing his duel with Spinazzola on one occasion, the captain was solid in defense.

Thiaw (CB) – 5/10: Made some good blocks, but struggled against Lukaku throughout the game.

Gabbia (CB) – 7/10: Unlike Thiaw, he won most of his duels against Lukaku and frustrated him. Made several interceptions and arguably was Milan’s best player on the night.

Hernandez (LB) – 5/10: He was anonymous in the first half and could have done better on the goal.

Bennacer (CM) – 5/10: The Algerian was sloppy and made several poor passes. Struggled defensively and was replaced in the 60th minute.

Reijnders (CM) – 6/10: Tested Roma’s keeper with a few shots from the edge of the box and was Milan’s most dangerous player.

Pulisic (RW) – 5/10: Roma defenders managed to keep him quiet and apart from some good moments was never a threat.

Loftus-Cheek (AM) – 5/10: Failed to have a positive impact on the game and lost his man on the corner.

Leao (LW) – 4/10: It is fair to say he produced one of his weakest performances of the season. He was lost in the game and failed in everything he did.

Giroud (ST) – 5/10: Lost his battle against Smalling and lacked focus throughout the game. Missed Milan’s best chance in the last minutes.

Substitutes 

Adli (For Bennaccer – 60′) – 7/10: Replaced Bennacer and added much-needed energy to the team. Improved Milan’s build-up with his passing.

Chukwueze (For Pulisic – 78′) – 7/10: Caused problems for Roma defenders and created a great chance for Giroud after getting past the challenges of multiple defenders.

Okafor (For Leao – 78′) – N/A: Did not have enough time to have an impact.

Manager

Pioli (4): Lost the tactical battle to De Rossi as his team was very poor in the first 60 minutes. They failed to create any dangerous chance and were lucky that only conceded one goal. The team improved after substitutions in the second half, but it was too late.

AS Roma Player Ratings (4-3-3)

Mile Svilar (GK) – 7/10: The young keeper Denied Reijnders on a couple of occasions and produced a solid performance.

Zeki Celik (RB) – 8/10: The Turkey international kept Rafael Leao quiet during the 90 minutes with a fantastic defensive performance.

Chris Smalling (CB) – 7/10: Won his battle against Giroud and produced a dominating performance.

Gianluca Mancini (CB) – 8/10: The Italian once again scored a decisive goal and was faultless during the 90 minutes.

Leonardo Spinazzola (LB) – 7/10: A solid performance with some quality attacking actions in the second half.

Lorenzo Pellegrini (CM) – 7/10: His passing caused problems for Milan and showed his technique. Was a calming presence in the middle of the pitch for Roma.

Bryan Cristante (CM) – 6/10: Overall solid performance and helped Roma with his runs without the ball but failed to make an impact with the ball.

Leandro Paredes (DM) – 7/10: The midfielder produced one of his best performances of the season and won all of his duels in the middle of the pitch.

Stephan El Shaarawy (FW) – 7/10: Caused problems for Milan defenders and helped Roma defensively. A constant threat during the game.

Paulo Dybala (FW) – 7/10: The Argentine was sharp and caused problems for Pioli’s side with his runs. Had no chance to score but created the goal with his delivery from the corner.

Romelu Lukaku (ST) – 6/10: Failed to have an impact with the ball but caused problems for Milan’s defenders with his physicality and won many of his duels.

Substitutes

Tammy Abraham (For Dybala – 81′): Did not have enough time to have an impact.

Houssem Aouar (For Pellegrini – 89′) – N/A: Did not have enough time to have an impact.

Edoardo Bove (For Paredes – 89′)– N/A: Did not have enough time to have an impact.

Diego Llorente (For Lukaku – 92′) – N/A: Did not have enough time to have an impact.

Manager

De Rossi 7: Made a few tweaks to his system and Pioli had no answers to his tactics. Roma started the game better than Milan and deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute. His team controlled the match in the first 60 minutes and did not let Milan create a dangerous chance until the 88th minute.

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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