Celtic 0 AC Milan 3: Player ratings as Kaka stars at Parkhead

Celtic 0 AC Milan 3: Player ratings as Kaka winds back the clock with a mesmerising display at Parkhead

By Sean Kearns
Celtic
0
AC Milan
3

Celtic

Fraser Forster Shares the blame for Kaka’s goal with his defence after he failed to come out. Could do little for the other goals. 5/10

Virgil van Dijk Has been in fine form for the club in his debut season but was culpable for Kaka’s goal where he allowed the Brazilian to drift away from him so easily. To make matters worse, he missed a golden chance to equalise just minutes into the second half when he squandered a simple opportunity. 6

Mikael Lustig Showed good quality on the ball and will feel aggrieved to be on the losing side. 6

Emilio Izaguirre Showed plenty of endeavour in getting forward but was often found lacking defensively. Became more and more frustrated as the night wore on. Booked and ruled out of the Barcelona match. 5

Efe Ambrose Was better in possession than without as he brought the ball out well on numerous occasions. Will feel he should have done better up against Balotelli for Milan’s third goal. 6

Charlie Mulgrew Showed his diversity by slotting into central midfield. Not the easiest night for the Scot but is always important for the side on these nights because of the quality of his set-pieces. On occasion, he would slip out wide and delivered some excellent crosses into the box. 7

Derk Boerrigter Hasn’t had much football this season and it showed. The winger was desperate to show off his ability and his pace was certainly an outlet on the left-hand side, but he faded as the match wore on. 5

Beram Kayal Scuffed a first-half chance when he found himself free in the box. Forced to come off half-an-hour in through injury. 5

Kris Commons An off-night for the playmaker. Was rarely afforded space in behind the Milan midfield as he was harried by Nigel De Jong. On the odd occasion he found time on the ball he failed to produce. 5

James Forrest So often Celtic’s shining light on these nights, Forrest again provided the flair that is lacking elsewhere in the team. Unlucky not to score on the hour mark when he saw his effort clip the post. It’s testament to Forrest’s ability that he was doubled up on each time he received the ball. 7

Georgios Samaras Captain for the night in the absence of Scott Brown but struggled to make the most of his opportunity up-front. Often played on the left wing on these nights, the big Greek forward did win many of his aerial battles but lacked support around him to make the most of any opportunities. 6

Substitutes

Anthony Stokes Replaced Commons with 25 minutes remaining. Looked determined to show the boss that he should have started but failed to influence proceedings. 6

Joe Ledley Inadvertently unbalanced the side when he replaced Kayal 30 minutes in. Not his fault though and provided greater creativity than those who started. 6

Tom Rogic Replaced Forrest with 10 minutes to go, by which stage, the match was practically finished. Was difficult for him to get involved. 5

AC Milan

Christian Abbiati A very quiet night for the Milan goalkeeper. Looked a little shaky on some of the corners he faced but will be happy with a clean sheet. 6

Ignazio Abate Didn’t get forward as much as he normally does but was restricted by Celtic’s wingers. Replaced early in the second half. 6

Cristian Zapata Dealt with Samaras’ aerial presence well by forcing the Greek out wide to win the headers. Scored his side’s second to cap off a good night. 7

Daniele Bonera An experienced performance from the Italian centre-half. He knew Samaras was likely to win most aerial battles but by competing so ferociously with the forward, Bonera ensured that the headers would come to nothing. 7

Urby Emanuelson Would have been identified as a weak point in the Milan defence by Celtic as he was playing in the unfamiliar position of full-back. In fact, showed good defensive awareness and can be happy with his performance. 6

Andrea Poli The 24-year-old didn’t contribute greatly to Milan’s performance but did all that was asked of him in possession and provided good energy. 6

Nigel De Jong Was vital to his side’s performance tonight. Squeezed the space in between defence and midfield and quashed any chances that came through the lines. 8

Kaka (Man of the Match) Was reminiscent of the player that won the Ballon d’Or in 2007. Scored with a simple header and created constant problems for the Celtic defence with his movement and intelligence on the ball. Head and shoulders above everybody else on the pitch. 9

Mario Balotelli Could have done better with an early chance but did everything else that could be asked of a lone front-man. Held up the ball excellently when his team was under pressure and linked well with Kaka and Birsa in behind him. Capped off his night with a fine goal that demonstrated his strength on the ball. 8

Riccardo Montolivo Fitted into new formation neatly. As always, was tidy in possession and worked effectively with his partner De Jong. 7

Valter Birsa Combined well with Kaka but was guilty of over-playing at times when perhaps he could have had a shot at goal. 6

Substitutes

Robinho Replaced Kaka with 10 minutes to go but spent much of it clutching his shoulder after a heavy fall. 6

Kevin Constant Replaced Birsa with 20 minutes to go when the game was already sealed. Neat in possession. 6

Antonio Nocerino Replaced Abate minutes into the second half and was solid throughout. Clear that he wanted to get forward but showed maturity by sticking to his duties. 6

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