The away side played most of the game with ten men after goalkeeper Andrea Consigli was sent off for bringing down Carlos Bacca. The Colombian converted the penalty himself, and though Domenico Berardi brought the Neroverdi level with a stunning free-kick, a late Luis Adriano header clinched the points for the Rossoneri.
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Gianluigi Donnarumma – 6 – Mature
The debutant looked comfortable with what little he had to do in the first half, particularly when claiming a cross within a group of players. Made a small step that might have prevented him reaching Domenico Berardi’s free kick.
Alessio Romagnoli – 6.5 – Dominant
The youngster looked every bit an international quality defender, using his strength and height to repel Gregoire Defrel while his speed and mobility allowed him away from his station to mop up problems that Alex couldn’t reach.
Ignazio Abate – 5.5 – Bitter
Spent the first half little involved in the play, but still found time to talk his way into the book. Pushed a little further forward in the second period.
Luca Antonelli – 6 – Progression
Just like Ignazio Abate, Antonelli struggled to get into the game but unlike Abate, he ensured that by continually attempting to track up and down his flank he was a regular and useful outlet for team-mates.
Alex – 6 – Solid
When the ball was in front of him, he was able to tackle and head clear. When Sassuolo were able to play around him, he looked like a lumbering leviathon.
Andrea Poli – 5.5 – Reticent
While neither of the Rossoneri’s central midfielders enjoyed particularly productive afternoons, Found it difficult to control the play and subsequently, it always seemed that something was missing.
Riccardo Montolivo – 6- Horizontal
Was booed by sections of the crowd after a backpass during the first half, which rather summed up his performance. Was more advanced during the second period which allowed his quality on the ball to shine.
Juraj Kucka – 6.5 – Imprint
Perhaps the busiest of Sinisa Mihajlovic’s midfielders, Kucka frequently ran to collect the ball to link defence and attack. This allowed Abate to stay back, while Cerci could stay forward, both of which were valuable.
Alessio Cerci – 6.5 – Flashes
Showed early flashes of his ability, notably in the pass through to Carlos Bacca from which the penalty for the opening goal was won. Came to life in the second period, and earned his standing ovation with a constant troubling of the Sassuolo defence.
Giacomo Bonaventura – 6 – Unfinished
Excited the home crowd briefly with an immaculate volley that flew just wide, Bonaventura had a quiet game; what he did, he did acceptably, but he didn’t do enough to impress against the ten men of the Neroverde.
Carlos Bacca – 6 – Clinical
Won the early penalty after latching onto a glorious Cerci through ball, and slotted it home himself. Produced little outside his goal, however, until Luis Adriano came on.
Luis Adriano – 5.5 – Finisher
A cameo role for the Brazilian who replaced Andrea Poli, but failed to have much influence on the game. Was in the right place at the right time for his goal, steering his header expertly into the net.
Andrea Bertolacci – 6 – Impetus
Entered the fray with twenty minutes to go and it was no coincidence that the Rossoneri’s performance improved, as Bertolacci brought drive and impetus to the side.
Keisuke Honda – N/A
Came on for injury time to allow Alessio Cerci a few moments’ rest.