The captain had next to nothing to do as Palermo failed to ask him any sort of questions. Took a ball well under pressure from Pinilla late on in about his most taxing moment.
Hit the byline a couple of times, and did OK defensively against Ilicic, though he had to give away a corner when Pisano turned him inside out. Provided good balance from the left side after the break, and did well to get in on Nocerino’s nice pass in behind.
Played one excellent ball over the top for Ibrahimovic, then added an assist when beating the motionless Palermo defense to the byline and cutting back for Cassano to finish. It was a much better display from the full-back, who has not been at his best at times this season.
After receiving a stray boot to the hip from Ilicic in the early moments, he battled on for 20 minutes, but it was clear that he was struggling. Eventually replaced by Bonera before halftime.
Booked for needlessly pulling back Miccoli after being fooled by the striker. Barely troubled in the remainder of the first half, and after the break he had the Palermo front line in his pocket.
Showed great presence of mind to head Ibrahimovic’s chip back across goal for Nocerino to open the scoring. Looked more comfortable on a general level coming from the wide midfield position, and got into a couple more positions from which Milan could have benefited, especially when he beat two men but shot straight at Tzorvas late on.
Probably his best performance in a Milan shirt which started well enough as he played a smart ball through to send Cassano in on goal. Then almost inevitably broke the deadlock against his former club by turning in Aquilani’s header. A couple of neat balls in behind later on could have been made more of by Antonini and Cassano.
M. van Bommel
More and more sloppy pieces of play appear to be sneaking into the Dutchman’s game, with slack passes again in evidence tonight, but his presence alone was more than Palermo could boast, and it was enough to set the platform for those around him.
A couple of early poor touches smacked of rustiness, while his foul on Hernandez with studs high could have resulted in more than a yellow card. Had a double effort saved by Tzorvas when he failed to bury either chance, but later finished superbly when one-on-one with the keeper to double the lead. Added a more convincing attacking dimension to Milan’s play.
Didn’t have the conviction to bury a chance presented to him on the right after a pinball clearance landed at his feet, then could have done better on the left as Tzorvas smothered his effort from a narrow angle. A later airshot from an Ibrahimovic pass suggested he might not get his goal, but he eventually finished off after Abate’s run to the byline.
Let the ball get away from him as he attempted to chest the ball into his own path from Abate’s feed, then over hit a pass for Robinho in the channel. Made up for it with a delightful ball to Aquilani as Nocerino opened the scoring, then an even better one for Robinho to add the second.
Did well in standing big up against the onrushing Cassano, then made a good double reaction save against Robinho, though he may have done better in parrying the first effort away. Not really at fault for any of the goals.
Won a corner after a good driving run and nice check back against Antonini, but tended to stand off his man at times defensively. When he did back himself, he showed good strength up against Ibrahimovic in particular.
Timid defending up against Robinho almost gifted the Brazilian a chance, then could have laid one on for Ibrahimovic when giving the ball away from a regulation pass. Dragged well out of position when he was attracted to the ball as Cassano was foiled only by the linesman’s flag.
Didn’t look completely comfortable in the left-back role, though he did send in a good cross for Hernandez as Palermo threatened midway through the first half. Too often beaten with ease though, especially as Abate set up the third goal.
Guilty of one abysmal square ball straight to Aquilani, then failed to track the midfielder in the build-up to Milan’s opener. Generally failed to provide the physical presence necessary at the base of midfield as he regularly watched opponents ghost straight past him.
F. Della Rocca
Didn’t have enough of a presence in the midfield tussle as Milan had the majority of possession without ever looking in much trouble across the center of the pitch.
With the spring of Fabio Cannavaro, he continues to just about get away with playing out of position in the center back slot, beating Ibrahimovic in the air on a number of occasions. However, he was just one of a number of Palermo players short of the mark on the night.
Should have backed himself for pace against Van Bommel to get on the end of a great ball in the channel from Miccoli, but then his determination to get to the ball saw him past Nocerino and Antonini down the right. Again battled his way to the byline when twice beating Abate, but lacked a final ball.
Guilty of trying to play his way out of trouble with a fancy flick as Milan built momentum early on. Looked much happier when switched to the key central role in a 4-2-3-1 in the second half, but put teammates in trouble too often with under hit passes.
Should have backed himself to go on rather than shooting over from distance when he broke in the early stages. Got in front of his man well to turn the ball just wide from Mantovani’s left-wing cross, but it was a rare highlight for the Uruguayan, and he was replaced by Pinilla on 65 minutes.
One errant pass straight into the stands summed up his first half as he failed to get involved as much as usual, and it was enough for Devis Mangia to haul him off at the break.
- 1 M. Amelia
- 2 T. Taiwo
Came on for the injured Thiago Silva in the 34th minute, and was able to handle the infrequent threats that Palermo provided through the center.
Introduced for the returning Robinho with 25 minutes to play but the game was over by then.
- 57 M. Valoti
S. El Shaarawy
Given 12 minutes of action by Massimiliano Allegri in place of Cassano.
- 99 F. Benussi
- 4 M. Cetto
- 13 M. Aguirregaray
Replaced the ineffective Miccoli at the break, but couldn’t ever really get up to top pace on his return from a hamstring problem.
- 16 E. Zahavi
Brought on for Bertolo for the final 16 minutes as Palermo turned the match into a damage limitation exercise.
Given his chance in place of Hernandez for the last 25 minutes, and after one poor header he dragged a shot wide when the ball came back to him.