Christian Pulisic kept fairly quiet but AC Milan attack remains loud as Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao sink Roma

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Christian Pulisic AC Milan 2023-24
Christian Pulisic was kept off the scoresheet for the first time as an AC Milan player, but it didn't prevent his side from getting three huge points.

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  • Pulisic starts in Milan win
  • First game without a goal
  • Musah remains on bench

After winning each of their first two Serie A matches, Milan made their biggest statement yet as they toppled Roma 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. The goals came from Pulisic's attacking teammates Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao, with the latter's goal being a stunning finish for his first goal of the year.

For the third straight game, Pulisic was named to Stefano Pioli's starting XI, while his U.S. men's national team teammate, Yunus Musah, was an unused substitute once again.



    It was a feisty affair from the get-go, as it didn't take long for Milan to take the lead after the referee's intervention.

    An early chance from Ruben Loftus-Cheek was seemingly blocked away, but a VAR review ruled that the ex-Chelsea man was taken down by goalkeeper Rui Patricio during the sequence. Olivier Giroud stepped up and scored from the spot, much to Roma's frustration, giving Milan the 1-0 lead.

    It became two just minutes into the second half as Rafael Leao scored a stunner to double the lead. On a cross in from Davide Calabria, the Portuguese winger was somehow able to hold off Gianluca Mancini while providing an acrobatic finish from just outside the six-yard box.

    Milan gave Roma a lifeline when Fikayo Tomori was sent off in the 61st minute after picking up a second yellow card, but the hosts were unable to take advantage as Milan held on for all three points.

    And, boy, did they have to hold on. A goal from Leonardo Spinazzola in stoppage time put Milan in danger, with Roma getting several chances in the minutes that followed. Fortunately for Milan, they were able to survive and escape with a massive early-season win.

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    It was a solid but somewhat unspectacular performance for Pulisic, who has certainly set high standsrds since arriving in Milan.

    Having scored in each of his first two games, he was unable to find the back of the net in this one, but came very, very close early in the first half. The American got on the end of a perfect cross from Theo Hernandez, but was thwarted by a spectacular save from Patricio.

    Ultimately, Pulisic lasted 76 minutes, with that near-goal his only shot, before being replaced by fresh legs in the form of Samuel Chukwueze as Milan were content to defend and try and hit Roma on the counter.

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    It wasn't Pulisic's best performance since joining Milan but, even so, the USMNT will be excited to have him int his kind of form.

    The American is playing with confidence he rarely had at Chelsea due to his stop-and-start opportunities. It's already clear that he is a vital player at Milan and a key piece of their attacking triumvirate that has been so good to start the season.

    Pulisic will now look to continue to build chemistry alongside new USMNT star Folarin Balogun, who will be joining for his second camp.

    As for Musah, it's clear Milan are taking their time with him, but he'll certainly look to use the international break games as a springboard towards Pioli's plans at Milan.



    Christian Pulisic (6/10):

    Not his best game, but he was inches away from getting a third goal in as many games. Expectations are high after his first two performances but, by those standards, he came back down to earth a bit in this one.

    Yunus Musah (N/A):

    Named to the bench again, but Pioli perferred Tomass Pobegga as his 70th-mnute sub for Loftus-Cheek. No need to panic just yet, but the young midfielder will seemingly take a little bit of time to get fully involved at Milan.



    Pulisic and Musah will now head to the U.S. for the international break as they join up with the U.S. men's national team for friendlies against Uzbekistan and Oman. The matches are the first two of the second Gregg Berhalter era as the USMNT boss takes charge for the first time since being re-hired this summer.

    After the break, though, Milan will gear up for a massive match as they face eternal rivals Inter on September 16.