Montella's move to start Fernandez pays dividends as Milan beat Genoa
Sunday 19/March/2017 - 10:25 AM
AC Milan secured a 1-0 win over Genoa at the San Siro on Saturday night، with Matias Fernandez scoring the only goal of the game. The Rossoneri were comfortable for the 90 minutes and deserved their win، as they made it five victories in their last seven Serie A outings to keep the pressure on their rivals for European qualification، ESPN FC reported.
Despite Milan's missing several important players through injury and suspension، others stepped up and helped seal all three points. Milan enjoyed plenty of possession، maintained control of the game for the entire encounter and gave Genoa little in the way of openings، even on the counterattack.
The team lacked urgency and direct play at times، which in turn led to plenty of safe passes around the back four without really troubling the visitors. While it helped ensure that they avoided dangerous situations، they should have done more to put the game to bed.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- As mentioned above، Vincenzo Montella was missing a number of key figures for this game، but he organised his side well and his changes were sensible throughout. Milan nullified any threat Genoa posed and looked comfortable with his one major change، Fernandez، scoring the winning goal.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma، 6 -- Earned a 10th clean sheet of the season، but he won't have many quieter nights. Was forced into a decent save in the first half by Milan old boy Adel Taarabt، but was otherwise an untested spectator.
DF Cristian Zapata، 7 -- Deserves credit، as he has seemingly cut the errors out of his game and is keeping his focus for the entire 90 minutes. Snuffed out any danger posed by Giovanni Simeone and was assured on the ball throughout.
DF Gabriel Paletta، 6 -- Similarly to Zapata، was solid defensively for the most part. Marked down due to his poor distribution، as he lost possession on countless occasions in dangerous positions. In contrast، you could argue that he was at least trying to prise Genoa open.
DF Mattia De Sciglio، 7 -- Had a solid performance and is starting to better impose himself on games. Was strong in the tackle and kept it simple in possession in an overall positive display. Ridiculously booked despite cleanly winning the ball.
DF Leonel Vangioni، 7 -- Was not as much of an attacking threat as we've seen in previous games، but stepped in and delivered a solid defensive performance. Kept Darko Lazovic quiet by preventing service from Genoa's right flank.
MF Juraj Kucka، 7 -- Was full of energy and battled hard to win the midfield fight. Pressed high on occasion، too، and although the quality on the ball was missing at times، it was another positive performance.
MF Andrea Bertolacci، NA -- Lasted just two minutes before injury struck. It was a real shame to see him hobble off so early on in the game.
MF Matias Fernandez، 7 -- Produced a classy dinked finish to score the only goal of the match and given his lack of football so far this season، it was an impressive effort. Was positive on the ball and keen to pick up possession in threatening areas. A star performer on Saturday night.
FW Lucas Ocampos، 6 -- Can't be faulted for effort and showed glimpses of his quality as he glided past players on occasion with real class. However، continuously failed to make the difference in the final third with his decision-making or execution letting him down.
FW Gianluca Lapadula، 7 -- Was starved of service as his teammates were often selfish around him. Produced a delightful touch to register an assist for Fernandez's goal، made countless clever runs off the ball and، as always، was willing to work tirelessly off the ball.
FW Gerard Deulofeu، 7 -- Put in another impressive display as his direct running، technical skill on the ball and work ethic to track back made him one of the best players on the pitch. It can be argued that he was a little too selfish at times، but he was just missing that last decisive touch on Saturday.
MF Manuel Locatelli، 7 -- Still keeps it too simple at times and when he does show a bit more courage، it results in positive play. Nonetheless، he helped set the tempo in the game، recycling possession well and giving good protection in front of goal while also having two decent attempts himself.
MF Mario Pasalic، NA -- Added presence in midfield to help secure the win with Milan maintaining control of the game in the latter stages.
Luca Antonelli، NA -- Had little time to make a major impact on the game as he added additional defensive coverage on the left.