Serie A

Sassuolo 0-3 AC Milan: Player ratings as Rossoneri end 11-year wait for Serie A crown

Craig Vickers
Milan are champions of Italy
Milan are champions of Italy / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/GettyImages
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AC Milan blitzed Sassuolo in an emphatic 3-0 victory at the Mapei Stadium to seal their first Serie A crown since 2011 on the final day of the league campaign.

The Rossoneri knew a win would see them hold off the threat of Inter and they delivered three points when it mattered most.

Milan thought they had gotten out to an early lead when Olivier Giroud met Alexis Saelaemakers' free-kick with a header, but Andrea Consigli was on hand to deny him with a heroic save.

The pressure was incessant from Stefano Pioli's men, with Fikayo Tomori going close just minutes later. The former Chelsea defender collected Theo Hernandez's corner at the far post, but Maxime Lopez did just enough to clear his effort off the line.

However, the away side didn't have to wait too long to ease their nerves. Rafael Leao burst into the penalty area and fed Giroud, with the Frenchman angling his finish through the legs of Consigli on the half turn to open the scoring.

Milan then doubled their advantage through the same source just after the half-hour mark to spark scenes of joy in the rammed away end at the Mapei Stadium. Leao, again, was causing havoc, pinching possession in the final third before pulling the ball back to Giroud in the area who made no mistake with his finish.

Stefano Pioli's side were in dreamland soon after, as Franck Kessie made it three before the interval. In his final outing in a Milan shirt, the Ivorian latched onto Leao's pass to power a first-time effort with the inside of his foot beyond Consigli.

Domenico Berardi almost grabbed a lifeline for Sassuolo after he met a cross from the left, but his acrobatic effort sailed wide of Mike Maignan's goal.

Milan went in search of a fourth and, just before the hour mark, they ought to pressed home their advantage. Hernandez pulled the ball across for Giroud who unselfishly laid the ball back to Leao, but the Portuguese was on a different wavelength as Sassuolo scrambled the ball to safety.

Substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic thought he had capped off a momentous day for the Rossoneri when he added his side's fourth of the evening after Leao found him in the penalty area. However, the Portuguese had strayed marginally offside in the build-up to curb the Milan celebrations.

Pioli was orchestrating the 18,000-strong Milan supporters inside the Mapei Stadium as the clock ticked down, with the sound of Daniele Doveri's full-time whistle ending eleven years of agony for the Rossoneri.

Here's how they rated on a historic night.


1. AC Milan (4-2-3-1)

Olivier Giroud
Giroud celebrates his goal / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

GK: Mike Maignan - 5/10 - Had very little to contend with given Milan's incessant pressure at the opposite end of the pitch.

RB: Davide Calabria - 6/10 -
Solid in his defensive duels, as he has trademarked throughout this season as Milan captain.

CB: Pierre Kalulu - 7/10 -
Unperturbed by the threat Sassuolo's attackers, handling the physical presence of Scamacca in an accomplished fashion.

CB: Fikayo Tomori - 7/10 -
Defended on the front foot and allowed Milan to suffocate their opponents in the first half. A shoo-in for an England call-up.

LB: Theo Hernandez - 7/10 -
His driving runs infield are impossible to stop as an opponent, as Sassuolo found out time and again.

CM: Sandro Tonali - 5/10 -
Hooked at the interval as Pioli looked to lock the game down after a manic first half.

CM: Franck Kessie - 7/10 -
Terrifically thumped finish to put Milan in dreamland before the interval, bowing out as a Milan player in style. Commanding display.

AM: Rade Krunic - 6/10 -
An array of tricks and flicks, constantly evading Sassuolo pressure in midfield with his awareness of what was around him.

RW: Alexis Saelemaekers - 6/10 -
His set-piece deliveries were a threat all evening, delivering consistent quality which Sassuolo struggled to deal with.

ST: Olivier Giroud - 9/10 -
Delivered a vital brace in the Derby della Madonnina in February and came up with the goods once again, finishing with aplomb on each occasion. Big game player.

LW: Rafael Leao - 10/10 -
A hat-trick of assists, underling his precocious talent in the most pressurised of fixtures for Milan.

SUB: Ismael Bennacer (46' for Tonali) - 6/10 - His defensive nous helped Milan effectively shut the game down.

SUB: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (73' for Giroud) - N/A

SUB: Brahim Diaz (73' for Krunic) - N/A

SUB: Alessandro Florenzi (81' for Saelemaekers) - N/A

SUB: Alessio Romagnoli (81' for Tomori) - N/A

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