Team news: Sassuolo were without Giacomo Satalino, Federico Peluso and Alfred Duncan. Milan had to do without Alessandro Plizzari, Mattia Caldara, Andrea Conti, Ivan Strinić, Riccardo Montolivo and Gonzalo Higuaín. Kickoff time was 20:30 CEST at Mapei Stadium.

Goals: Kessié (38′), Suso (49′, 94′), Castillejo (60′), Đuričić (69′).

U.S. Sassuolo Calcio (4-3-3) – Roberto De Zerbi
Andrea Consigli; Pol Lirola, Marlon Santos, Gian Marco Ferrari, Rogério; Stefano Sensi, Manuel Locatelli, Mehdi Bourabia (57′ Jeremie Boga); Domenico Berardi (75′ Khouma Babacar), Kevin-Prince Boateng , Federico Di Francesco (57′ Filip Đuričić).
Unused: Pegolo, Magnanelli, Lemos, Matri, Sernicola, Magnani, Dell’Orco, Adjapong, Brignola.

AC Milan (4-3-3) – Gennaro Gattuso
Gianluigi Donnarumma; Ignazio Abate (89′ Davide Calabria), Mateo Musacchio, Alessio Romagnoli, Ricardo Rodríguez; Franck Kessié, Lucas Biglia, Giacomo Bonaventura; Suso, Samu Castillejo (71′ Patrick Cutrone), Hakan Çalhanoğlu (76′ Diego Laxalt).
Unused: Reina, A. Donnarumma, Josè Mauri, Borini, Bakayoko, Bertolacci, Zapata, Simić, Halilović.

Referee: Michael Fabbri.

118 COMMENTS

  1. Scoreline aside, it’s not the most beautiful gameplay we’ve seen but it brought home results and 3 points.
    Aside from that one weak goal conceded, we maintain our composure during games. Hopefully it will improve our mentality.

    Oh, and suso was working hard today, and the fact that he celebrates his first goal with gattuso, maybe the players are behind gattuso after all. Hopefully it will only do us good. Good night everyone, Forza Milan

     
  2. 5 goals in two matches without Gonzalo, guess we can score without him after all?

    A good moral booster for the boys and a well deserved smack in the face of the fans on this blog that wanted us to lose.

     
  3. Wow! 4 – 1 we scored many goals and finally have killed off a game! Even locatelli scored for us again lol. All seriousness it wasn’t fantastic but it’s a great reaction!! We showed character. Keep it up boys!!

     
  4. Great result, with a decent performance by the boys. Sasoullo away is a tough match for a team at our level.

    Many problems are still there – too many misplaced crucial passes, not enough ideas in attack. And the cheap goal was super annoying, with Donna seemingly sleeping.

    But Gatusso’s game plan worked 100%, with Abate and RicRod bringing stability to our otherwise quite shaky back line, and canceling Sasoullo’s dangerous wingers. His subs were also good.

    MOTM for me was Kessie, who showed the intensity and strength somewhat missed in previous matches. He was a boss in midfield, and his goal was nothing short of superb. Shoutout also to Suso of course with his brace.

     
    • Scoring 4 goals away only gets a decent performance? Come on Bruh. Need to give em credit when it’s due especially when they get bashed more than praised no matter how the match looked.

      And it’s also the first time we’re winning away to them and in what a way.

       
  5. GTFO Kevin prince, you belong to German Ghetto not in a football field! Forza MILAN!! I told you and still predict Samu would be the next star for Milan provided he has given ample chances.

     
  6. Congrats guys! I hope this victory will wake them up, i will still not trust them until i start seeing dominance and results. 3 good points!

     
  7. Fell asleep at half time, DAMN
    A nice win, good farewell gift from rino i hope. Milan should aim to be able to perform like sassuolo in first 20m. They were lucky not to concede in 1st half because their performance was terrible. Its good that they could pick themselves up and the goal by messie near the end of 1st really helped. Congrats milan and milanisti

     
  8. Now am happy with the result but still same one best half. The guys tried better than other games played this season so far
    There are just 3 things remaining for milan to be a better team
    1. We should not relax even when we are leading
    2. We should be able to play for 90 mins as professionals
    3. Gattuso should work on his substitutions patern
    Good game and let hope our season begins now
    Forza milan

     
  9. This is what happens when Borini doesn’t play. We score goals for fun.

    I will go to Milan just to foul Borini to keep him on the injury list.

    This is a moral victory and we needed it real bad. Hope we can build from this as it seems the team was lacking some confidence and belief.

    Honorable shoutout to Abate for saving us on two goals, Suso, Kessie, Rodriguez and Castillejo.

    Not the best game but a much needed win for moral.

     
  10. So, what do you guys think? Did we play badly? Were we lucky to win? #Rino/GRINTA out?
    This game shows why I’ve kept the faith in Rino, the difference in this game and with the others – barring the Cagliari game as I thought we were poor in and the draw was fair. We have always played good, and created chances, opportinities haven’t been missing, only the goals. And then individual mistakes was the cause for our demise in those games. In this game, we took our chances by some quality finishing, played good. Could’ve been punished by a mistake – Sassuolos penalty claim – but weren’t punished, and the rest is as you say, history:) Something good is that we managed to score after their goal, even if it was in the 93d minute and a deflection. You could see the confidence grow by each goal, and how the confidence somehow disappeared after their goal but we managed to bounce back. A really good win, which I hope we can build on, this game doesn’t show that Rino is the greatest coach in the world, but neither does the previous games show that he is the worst, as the play has always been there.

    Some standouts – Donnas 1 v 1 save that kept us in the game, along with Abate. RR who was unplayable on the left, superb and just so good when in possession – compared to last season when I was scared when he held on to the ball for too long – Biglia who won the battle v Locatelli by miles and shows why he should be the starter even if Loca was still here. Samu was really good too with his constant pressing and hassling up top. Very happy for Susos goals. All-in-all a good showing and worthy three points. Hope we’ll build on it and can add this win to our mental strength, as if we get that winning mentality, this team can definitely do things and go far.. Forza Milan!

     
    • Yes bro. This win doesn’t change anything. I’m still not convinced about Gattuso. I’ll remind you about this post when they start playing poorly against mediocre teams like Chievo (next Serie A game). I’m happy we won as I always am when we win no matter who’s at the helm of affairs. But it still doesn’t change my opinion about Gattuso. All I know is that we have a a good squad that should be challenging for the Scudetto and with Gattuso in charge , we won’t achieve that.

       
      • Sure:)
        This team is definitely not at the level of Juve to challenge for the scudetto, Inter are also better than us – doesn’t mean we can’t beat them in a one-off derby because anything can happen at derbys. We wouldn’t challenge for the scudetto no matter the coach unless we pull a Leicester.
        A top 4 spot should be able to be obtained even with Rino if he shapes up their mental strength, his substitutions and improves the defence.
        Still has a lot of work to do, but this win is a good start!

         
    • When we lose or draw there are 200+ comments of #rinoout. When we win (although not playing beautifully but 4 goals!) less than 100 comments overall. What an environment we’ve created on this blog.

       
  11. If we win game in hand two points off second place,not as bad as I thought.i never thought we would score 4 without any recognised striker so that’s a positive let’s kick on now and put a run together.

     
  12. I had to comment cos I was very happy with the result..a very good morale boost for the boys. And has anybody noticed yet… We always win all first halves so far in the league.. Forza Milan!!!

     
  13. Happy for the win. Saw an little improvement, but still our playing phase is suck. We barely cut their passing lines, except their pass to the box. Our attacking phase is so predictable, and somehow it looks like we need luck to score.
    Hopefully you can prove me wrong mr.gattuso.

     
  14. At some point, I thought Samu had played the false 9 role before because he was too perfect. He pressed Locatelli and the 2 center backs and closing the lines between the Sassuolo back 4 and midfield when we were off possession. He made lovely crossfield runs to drag the defenders out of positions and he help the midfield so mucb with his speed, energy and quality. MOTM

    Abate was instrumental to this win because without those 2 crucial last sec challenges in 1st half, it would have been a different game. He gave so much experience and his overall defensive performance was solid. Calabria needs to learn some defending from him.

    Biglia worked his socks off today. I was a bit scared of his 1st half yellow but he had a consistent performance all through the game.

    Lastly… Rino. Did you see clean difference between a football player (Samu) and a Rugby player (Borini)? Stop making your job difficult for yourself by playing Borini because he’s no pro footballer. Good and timely substitutions today.

    Congrats everyone.

     
    • I missed the first 20 minutes, because I thought the K/O was 20.45, still not accustomed to these new Serie A kickoffs haha. so Biglia was playing with a yellow? And Ignia had made a crucial tackle before the one he made on Di Francesco? Damn. I had no idea Biglia was playing with a yellow, he was so good, perhaps he should always play with a yellow then haha.

       
  15. Convincing, yet, shaky. This is how I would describe Milan’s victory tonight.

    As the first 10 minutes of the game ensued, I’m sure many of you were thinking what I was at the time. Look at how beautiful & slick Sassulo’s football is. TAKE NOTE GATTUSO.

    They pressed us with confidence and elegance moving with brilliant combos on the wings but never actually played any random crosses hoping for the best, but, instead, tried moving it into the middle where our defense is at it’s shakiest. This is how you play a high pressing 4-3-3 so by all means do take notes Mr. Gennaro.

    We did not panic to my amusement but actually grew more imposing as the time kept ticking. So, how did we manage to come up with 4 goals ultimately ?

    Let me try breaking it down to the best of my ability:

    Defense wise, Abate was the shakiest but made the most crucial tackle of the game which in my opinion shifted the whole team’s mental psyche, a tackle which came after Kessie missing an absolute sitter. Ignazio showed everyone not to lose morale and thus Milan’s midfield and attacked learned to TRUST our defense a little bit and focused on bombing forward on the break.

    Roma, Musa were solid but Donna & RR were walls with the latter keeping up his fantastic form by deleting Berrardi while still finding the time to press his opposing fullback on attack.

    Moving into Midfield, Bona had a good first half but wasn’t as influential on the final third as he was busy pressing but on the other flank, Kessie was just a powerhouse and before you bash me let me explain why. Kessie missed the best opportunity of the match at 0-0 and how did he respond ? By dribbling behind his own line (very risky play), sprinting to the box and opening the score. If you hate him as a player at least commend his mentality as he didn’t disappear but made amends in stubborn fashion. Again, Mentality was key here. After all this praise heaped on Frank he wasn’t even the best midfielder of the night, without a shred of doubt, Lucas was the best around and I don’t need to explain why.

    Football is a team sport, yet, there’s always that ONE player that will show up to win you games and this was none other than Suso.

    With Hakan in & out of the wing trying to impact the match as much as possible. Suso on the other side was taking the match to Sassulo’s defense to the point he was marked with 3 player around the 30 minute mark. Phenomenal goal, fantastic dribbling and should’ve had an assist for that cutback to Bona.

    I don’t know how anyone reading would take the following statement so, please, bear with me.

    Samu (next to Suso) was my MVP.

    No one throwing a shoe at me ? good.

    Why you ask ?
    Because he did more than he was asked off as a makeshift striker.

    He pressed for literally the whole time he was on, dribbled when he had the chance, drifted to the wing interchanging with Calha and bagged that deserved goal with lethal finishing. A complete nuisance for his unsuspecting markers as he made sure never to be marked.

    When asked about his post match thoughts, Coach Roberto De Zerbi answered who he thought was the MOTM.

    His response was gold.
    “Borini. His presence on the bench gave us all kind of trouble and we had no answer to his constant staring” He didn’t say that, but, you get what implying right ?

    All in all, I really hope Mr. Gattuso starts considering to gradually play a more offensive formation like the 4-2-3-1 as he has the privilege of doing so. Having Samu behind Higgy running around creating space is not the worst idea. Of course, that would mean sacrificing Bona or Hakan and I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. I realize he is in name a winger but playing him as a SS doesn’t seem to be a bad idea but what do I know ?

    Forza Milan and hoping to get the next two home wins. We have the ability to do so and our worst enemy is in fact ourselves.

    Thanks for reading this essay.

     
  16. Nice comments from my fellow lovers of milan. Thank God Borini is injured and out which give rise to playing castellejo in his stead. Borini should remain on the sideline
    If we should continue winning.Forza milan

     
  17. Most of our losses are psychological , and other teams have seen this in us. I took my time today to watch the match between the lines. What those small clubs do is that when there is no goal, they play open football with us, but immediately Milan is leading by a goal or two, they start playing possessive football just to put us into panic and confusion. Sassuolo did same today. This is the area Gatuso and Co need to work hard on. Possessive football. We should develop technics of dispossessing the opponent quickly when they are having possession and we should try to hold the ball as much as possible. We shouldn’t give pass when we are not sure a Milan player will get the pass. Bet me, once we can hold ball comfortably when opponent is pressing, then we will be out of this current problem. Once we can hold the ball at critical time to reduce opponent pressure, then we are good to go.

     
  18. I still think we are far off decent gameplan but I gotta admit… boy, that was Kessie’s best perofrmance so far, he was scary. First touch, decisions, simple passing, hassling opposition.. that was perfect mezzala.
    Suso did well too, and I am not talking about that goal, he combined on that right flank and made huge problems for Sassulo.
    But we still have Calhanoglu problem, I swrar every time Bonaventutra somehow ends ups on that left flank we are dangerous again, Hakan needs to sit on a bench or try to fit as a mezzala because we ain’t looking at something different than 4-3-3 anytime soon.

     
  19. Something I forgot to mention, Jack had a “quiet” game, but I got the impression that he got more of a defensive role this game, you saw him track back plenty of times into our own penalty box today, which I thought he did very well. Did anyone else think of this, or am I completely in the wrong here?

     
    • Definitely, he played more of a defensive game today and he did fine, except that horrid ball to boateng.

      Today was the first game we won somewhat ugly and we finally killed off a game. I’m glad suso is finding form, cause when he’s on form he’s our star player. I hope he continues like this, also castillejo played false 9 pretty well! I don’t get why people hate on Kessie so much. Besides the missed chance I thought he played well! As did biglia. Your so right about RR, he has been so impressive.

      Now about gattuso, I’ve always supported him but not gonna lie, after empoli I was so upset I actually thought he’d be sacked, his stubbornness towards formation and tactics really needs to change but this was a good reaction from both coach and players and something we need to build on!

       
    • Yeah he made fewer runs in the box last night, and was kind of acting as left sided b2b without actually going into their box.

       
  20. I think i forgot abate is part of the old guard. This game reminds me. He with RR is so good tonight balancing and stabilize the defense. Hope this win kickstart the season. No more bad performance and bad result.

     
  21. A very crucial win.
    Of 4 goals, none came from the situation where the lads were dominating in possession. In fact, they lost in possession.
    Maybe Gattuso should rethink of his emphasis on possession football.. The team is just more deadly with direct football. Remember the last match of last season against Fiorentina.

     
  22. Wow pleasantly surprised by milan.
    Question is , can we win 3 to 5 games consecutively to have a chance of top 4 finish.

     
    • And that’s just exactly what we need now n I would say have always needed this past 6seasons. Screw possession football, it is for Barca n Arsenal. What we need is Milan football; Absorb the pressure then prove very deadly when its our turn to play. Finally n most importantly convert the system into a must win approach. I could remember even the team having Maldini, Nesta, Oddo, Jankulovski, Kaka, Seedorf, Pirlo were not interested much in possession but absorb the pressure, then attack u very hard n win the game. I repeat screw possession football! Win the game! That’s what will take us back to where we belong n the team we were in our last glory days. Then from there maybe we can start seeking the days of Sacchi that combined beautiful football.

       
  23. They fell asleep after that 3rd goal, becoming reckless and allowing Sassuolo to score. Even after the goal it took them a while to reboot

    This is where they need to improve, many times this season they went up on scoreline but lost it as if they were afraid of guarding the lead

     
  24. Not bad performance, finally winger scored (I mean Suso)
    But still doubt about 4 3 3 system……. maybe in UEFA league should rino try different
    Happy for 3 point of course….. but still i am saying, we need other coach……
    rino is shouting at players all the time….go there, pass to him, etc…..players supposed to be professionals, they should listen coach in the dressing room and them fulfill his words at field…..that is why i do not want conte as a coach….exactly same as rino
    But it is up to management sort out this one…..i hope they will deside for good of MILAN

    FORZA MILAN

     
  25. Really happy to have a good win, now I have 2 points;

    It feels like 10 years since we scored from a corner, this is a real weakness and needs to be addressed

    Did you see the pass for Di Francesco 1v1? We haven’t had a midfielder who could do that in about 10 years, again this needs to be addressed.

     
  26. i think milan play good game like play against empoly
    in front of empoly we are not so lucky and empoly gk was something amazing
    milan biggest problem is lake of sharpness in attack which solve in this game
    bad pass in middle which cause lossing possesion and counter attack comes
    not focused in defence

     

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