Patrick Cutrone and Andre Silva bail out a sloppy AC Milan in Europe
A last-gasp winner from Patrick Cutrone rescued AC Milan on Thursday night, as they secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Rijeka. Goals from Andre Silva and Mateo Musacchio had seemingly made things relatively comfortable, only for the Rossoneri to fumble their two-goal lead. Fortunately, Cutrone was on hand to produce the decisive moment.
After the defeat to Sampdoria at the weekend, the pressure was on Vincenzo Montella and his players. While it wasn't a convincing win, they ultimately got the job done to bounce back, and confidence should return ahead of facing Roma this weekend given the manner of their latest win.
There were warning signs of Rijeka's threat, and whether it was complacency or just a lack of quality to sustain their control over the game, it was disappointing to throw away a two-goal lead which could have proven very costly.
Manager rating out 10
5 -- Montella has to rotate and keep his squad fresh with so many fixtures in such a short space of time. Perhaps the biggest criticism is about Montella's starting lineup. Milan had a perfect opportunity to rest specific players, namely Franck Kessie, who has looked tired in recent outings.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 5 -- Stayed alert throughout and commanded his area well on occasion, but should have been braver to prevent the first goal -- even if Leonardo Bonucci had put him in a difficult situation. Donnarumma will be disappointed he couldn't keep the penalty out after having gotten a hand on it.
DF Mateo Musacchio, 6 -- Scored his first goal for the club with a decent finish, and was defensively sound for the most part. Wasn't as composed in possession as usual though.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 5 -- There are still concerns hanging over him. He can be commanding at times and his distribution is impressive, but his lack of pace was exposed late, while he was shrugged off the ball and beaten too easily for the first goal.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 5 -- Conceded a clumsy penalty to hand Rijeka what looked to be a point. Was generally the most assured of the back three, but another silly mistake sees him marked down.
MF Ignazio Abate, 5 -- Was a busy presence up and down the right flank, but didn't produce any notable bits of quality to stand out. Offered energy and an option out wide.
MF Franck Kessie, 5 -- As noted above, he should have been rested for this game. Having started though, he worked hard off the ball and covered ground well, but wasn't particularly influential as his driving forward runs were absent.
MF Manuel Locatelli, 6 -- Was snappy with his tackles and got stuck in to the midfield battle at times. Tidy enough with the ball at his feet, he can be pleased with his contribution in what was a rare start.
MF Hakan Calhanoglu, 5 -- Replaced at half-time after an indifferent display. Asserted himself well off the ball and had flashes of quality on it, but it was too inconsistent and sloppy.
MF Fabio Borini, 6 -- He did well, especially since he played out of position as a left wing-back on Thursday night. Borini also produced a crucial assist for Cutrone to score the winning goal.
FW Andre Silva, 7 -- A superb solo goal continues to prove his quality and he must now start in Serie A too. Was a little wasteful, though, as he chose the wrong option on occasion. He'll need to be more decisive and consistent in dangerous attacking positions.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 7 -- As always, the youngster worked hard off the ball and was a willing runner from start to finish. Was lacking the service to make a really telling mark on the game, but that was until stoppage time when he stepped up with an excellent and hugely-important goal. Shades of Pippo Inzaghi in the way that he beat the offside trap and coolly finished.
MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 5 -- Was willing to get on the ball and keep Milan ticking. Needs a consistent run to really get back to his best though.
MF Jose Mauri, 5 -- Asked to offer more defensive presence in midfield after coming on to try and keep things tight and see out the game. Didn't influence things too much though in a forgettable cameo appearance.
FW Suso, N/A -- The Spaniard was a late introduction and looked lively, but there wasn't enough time to make a significant contribution.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.