Milan rallies behind youngsters Niang and Locatelli

AC Milan emerged victorious from a thriller at the San Siro on Sunday evening as they secured a 4-3 win over Sassuolo. The Rossoneri were 3-1 down with just over 20 minutes remaining, but were able to produce a spirited comeback to grab all three points and now will head into the international break on a high.


It looked incredibly dire for Milan when they conceded twice in quick succession in the second half, but the belief and desire they showed, coupled with the quality in front of goal was very positive to see. Vincenzo Montella's changes were crucial, and there were a number of impressive individual performances.


The result does ultimately mask some issues too. Montella didn't get it right with certain selections, while after keeping three consecutive clean sheets, it was disappointing to see Milan concede three goals especially in the manner in which they gifted them to Sassuolo.

Manager rating out of 10

7-- Starting Luiz Adriano out on the left was a mistake, while you can also question Montella's faith in certain players still in the side. Nevertheless, his decision to bring on M'Baye Niang at half time, albeit from the stands after being dismissed for his protests earlier on, combined with the introduction of Manuel Locatelli ultimately swung the game back into his side's favour.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 7 -- Little he could have done for the three goals as he was left badly exposed by his defenders. Was alert otherwise, and produced a crucial save to deny Matteo Politano late on which helped Milan secure the victory.

DF Ignazio Abate, 5 -- Back in the line-up with Davide Calabria struggling with an injury, Abate was again guilty of making costly mistakes. Gave the ball away in the build-up to the first goal and was caught out for a disallowed goal too. Not good enough defensively.

DF Gabriel Paletta, 7 -- Needed to lead by example, and although Milan conceded three goals he used his experience and quality well to marshal the backline before scoring the winning goal with a brilliant header.

DF Gustavo Gomez, 5 -- Brought in to replace the injured Alessio Romagnoli, and will more than likely be back out of the line-up when he returns. Very shaky display, and was made to look like an amateur for two of the goals.

DF Mattia De Sciglio, 6 -- Produced a solid display both in the defensive phase and as an attacking threat down the left. We still haven't seen the best of De Sciglio, but he appears to be growing in confidence each week.

MF Juraj Kucka, 7 -- The Slovakian international's work-rate, aggressiveness and determination are absolutely crucial in this lightweight Milan midfield. Perhaps could do more from an attacking aspect, but worked very hard for his team to give them a foothold in the game.

MF Riccardo Montolivo, 5 -- It's a broken record with the captain, as his performance can be criticised for the same reasons when he doesn't perform. Milan need him to drop back, demand the ball and lead the team. Instead, he seems content with backward and sideway passing with little effect and was rightly replaced.

MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 7 -- A driving force for Milan in midfield, as evidenced in his goal. Offers a real threat going forward and his quality in the final third is key for the team.

FW Suso, 6 -- Did well to offer protection from a defensive point of view, but too often went missing in attack. Needs to add consistency to his performances and be a constant outlet for the Rossoneri.

FW Carlos Bacca, 6 --

Didn't really get the service that he needs, and in turn struggled to have a major impact on the game. Nevertheless, kept his concentration and composure to score the penalty to spark the comeback.

FW Luiz Adriano, 5 -- In his defence, it was a mistake from Montella to play him out on the left. Looked confused and ineffective even when he drifted inside behind Bacca and was replaced at the break.


FW M'Baye Niang, 7 -- The type of impact that Milan expect from him every week. Won the penalty, produced the cross for Paletta's winner and was a real threat on the counter with his pace and skill every time he picked up the ball. Hopefully, there is more of this to come.

MF Manuel Locatelli, 7 -- The 18-year-old will remember this game, and that goal, for the rest of his life. Reduced to tears after the game as that was how much it meant to him, and with a bit of luck he'll be replacing Montolivo with a bit more regularity.

MF Andrea Poli, NR -- Little time to influence the game as introduced late on to provide protection for the defence to preserve Milan's lead.