AC Milan squandered a 2-0 lead against Napoli as their Serie A season began with a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Carlo Ancelotti’s side at the San Paolo on Saturday night.
Goals from Giacomo Bonaventura and Davide Calabria had put them ahead, but as they visibly dropped off in the final half-hour Saturday, the Rossoneri were unable to hold out.
Milan settled into the game well and looked in control for the most part in the first 60 minutes as they were patient, played at their tempo and scored two great goals. With that in mind, Gennaro Gattuso will certainly have positives to take home prior to the collapse.
It showed in the latter stages that this was Milan’s first competitive game of the season, as they couldn’t sustain their energy levels and go toe-to-toe with Napoli. Nevertheless, to throw away a 2-0 lead in Naples, with the first goal coming from a mistake, it will be a bitterly disappointing night for Gattuso and his players, who did run plenty of risks by playing out from the back.
Manager rating out of 10
6 — The decision to start Fabio Borini was justified to an extent given his work rate and assist for the first goal, but Gattuso arguably had better options available to him. Perhaps he should also have reacted and made tweaks to Milan’s approach after conceding the first Napoli goal.
Player ratings out of 10 (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6 — Made some key saves throughout, while Napoli produced real quality in the final third for their three goals. Perhaps could have done better on the second with his positioning from the corner onward.
DF Davide Calabria, 6 — Took his goal really well, which in turn earns him a higher mark. Defensively, though, he must be better and has to improve moving forward to prevent Milan from being left vulnerable.
DF Mateo Musacchio, 6 — For the first 55 minutes, he looked assured in possession and produced an astute defensive performance. However, he suffered in the late siege and was also at fault in key moments.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 6 — Like his central defensive partner, the Milan captain produced countless clearances in the opening hour and looked commanding. However, as a whole, Milan weren’t good enough defensively to protect their lead.
DF Ricardo Rodriguez, 5 — Offered little from an offensive perspective as he continues to look nervous in possession. Suffered with his lack of pace on balls in over the top, which led to the third Napoli goal. Concerns remain.
MF Franck Kessie, 6 — It was a battling performance as ever from the combative midfielder as he worked tirelessly to get a foothold in the game. However, after making a positive start, his influence did ebb, which played a part in Napoli’s comeback.
MF Lucas Biglia, 5 — Started well but soon became a liability in the deep midfield role, as aside from an excellent pass in the buildup for the second goal, he was slow, progressively sloppy and was at fault as Napoli found a crucial response to spark their comeback. Must be less pedestrian next time out.
MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 7 — Produced a wonderful strike to break the deadlock and showed signs of his influential best at times. Displayed quality on the ball and intensity off it; Gattuso will hope that a fully fit Bonaventura can be fundamental this season.
FW Suso, 6 — Showed his class in key moments, with a pass in the buildup to the first goal before producing an assist for Calabria. Aside from that, though, the Spaniard was too quiet and remains inconsistent.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 6 — Worked hard off the ball and showed glimpses of quality with his holdup play, first touch and ability to get out of tight situations. However, he simply didn’t have the service to thrive and was subjected to jeers throughout from the home crowd.
FW Fabio Borini, 6 — In his defence, despite being heavily criticised in the past for not having the requisite quality in the final third to warrant a place as part of an attacking trident, he did well to assist Bonaventura and worked relentlessly to offer defensive help. Credit where it’s due, but he still can’t be a long-term fixture in the lineup.
MF Tiemoue Bakayoko, 5 — Offered more mobility and strength in midfield after replacing Biglia, but lacked discipline and composure, which left the Milan back line wide open on the counterattack.
FW Diego Laxalt, 6 — A promising cameo appearance as he looked lively on the left flank. Came close to providing a perfect assist for Higuain, but the Argentine forward blasted his effort high over the bar.
FW Patrick Cutrone, N/R — Came on late to provide a lift but couldn’t find that spark to help Milan grab an equaliser.