AC Milan 1-0 Tottenham: Player Rating as Diaz gives Rossoneri slender lead


Brahim Diaz’s first goal since October gave Milan a 1-0 victory over Tottenham in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

Diaz has gone 12 games without a goal as the Serie A champions but dominated Spurs with an early header on Tuesday.

Tottenham saw a lot of balls but could not draw many balls with the return of former Inter manager Antonio Conte to San Siro.

Milan went seven games without a win before beating Torino last Friday, but Diaz is on the verge of making it back-to-back wins and a slight advantage in the second leg at Tottenham Hotspur on March 8.

The San Siro stepped into the goal line and nodded after Diaz opened the scoring in the 7th minute, beating Spaniard Fraser Forster and Theo Hernandez with a spectacular double save.

Spurs responded well to that early strike but didn’t create a clear-cut chance until Harry Kane hit the post just before half-time, but an offside flag against Son Heung-min meant the striker had an effort. behind the net

Concerns arose for Milan when goalkeeper Cipriani Tatarsano appeared to have an ankle injury, but Eric Dier was shown a yellow card which ruled him out of the second leg.

With 20 minutes to go, Conte brought on Richarlison and Charles de Quetrier, and Malik Thiau missed a brilliant chance to extend Milan’s lead with a header from close range.

Tottenham pushed a bit in the second half but didn’t have the quality to salvage a draw and have more work to do next month.

AC Milan player ratings

GK: Ciprian Tatarusanu – 6/10 – Had some real clangers recently but held his own here. Received treatment on a twisted ankle after being nudged by Lenglet.

CB: Pierre Kalulu – 8/10 – Looked very calm in his duels with Son.

CB: Simon Kjaer – 6/10 – The master of the dark-art foul. Very fortunate not to have been booked.

CB: Malick Thiaw – 8/10 – Got tight to Kulusevski and completely shut him down.

RM: Alexis Saelemaekers – 6/10 – Tracked very far back to help double up on Son.

CM: Sandro Tonali – 6/10 – Twice snapped by Romero but held his composure in a feisty midfield battle.

CM: Rade Krunic – 5/10 – Wanted a little too much time to keep hold of the ball.

LM: Theo Hernandez – 7/10 – Had the joy of the left flank for the most part. Acted like a left winger.

RF: Brahim Diaz – 7/10 – Did very well to follow up on his rebound in order to score the opener. Technically excellent but like Krunic sometimes lacked awareness of Spurs’ press.

CF: Olivier Giroud – 6/10 – Showed little in terms of hold up or making himself a nuisance in the box.

LF: Rafael Leao – 7/10 – At times looked like the best player in the world with the way he danced with the ball at his feet. At others seemed as if he’d never played the sport before. All in all, a good performance.


Charles De Ketelaere (77′ for Diaz) – 5/10

Junior Messias (77′ for Saelemaekers) – 6/10

Tommaso Pobega (86′ for Tonali) – N/A

Ante Rebic (90′ for Leao) – N/A


Stefano Pioli – 7/10 – Milan weren’t at their best, but they were at least resolute defensively and that was enough.

Tottenham Hotspur player ratings

GK: Fraser Forster – 6/10 – Dives in slow motion but realistically not a lot he could have done about the goal.

CB: Cristian Romero – 3/10 – Probably his worst performance in a Tottenham shirt (in which he completed 90 minutes anyway). On another day might have been sent off for a reducer on Tonali.

CB: Eric Dier – 5/10 – An improvement on his weekend performance but that’s not saying much.

CB: Clement Lenglet – 5/10 – Reacted slowly to danger but wasn’t a complete liability in possession.

RM: Emerson Royal – 6/10 – Forced Hernandez and Leao to really work for the ball.

CM: Oliver Skipp – 6/10 – Showed bite and aggression against Tonali and Krunic.

CM: Pape Sarr – 7/10 – Stood tall and was great both in and out of possession. Tottenham’s best player by some distance.

LM: Ivan Perisic – 5/10 – Looks slowed with every passing week. Comically stumbled over prior to Diaz’s goal.

RF: Dejan Kulusevski – 4/10 – Physically doesn’t look right. Lacks the strength and quick burst he possessed even one month ago. Easily muscled out of the game.

CF: Harry Kane – 6/10 – Technically excellent but wasn’t enough of a direct threat.

LF: Son Heung-min – 4/10 – Dribbled his way out of trouble in the first half, offered nothing at all in the second.


Richarlison (70′ for Kulusevski) – 5/10

Arnaut Danjuma (81′ for Son) – 5/10

Ben Davies (81′ for Lenglet) – 4/10


Antonio Conte – 4/10 – Once again, Tottenham lacked dynamism and ideas. Changes should have been made much earlier in the night.

Player of the Match – Malick Thiaw

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