Stefano Pioli confidently deployed Fikayo Tomori alongside Simon Kjaer as Milan’s centre-backs in the crucial Europa League Round of 16 1st leg at Old Trafford. The Rossoneri confidently handled proceedings against Manchester United from the back with productive long balls and assertive passes.
It was Tomori’s first appearance back in England after his loan transfer from Chelsea to Milan, just before Tuchel was appointed as head coach.
He put in a commendable performance, supporting his Danish partner in the back with great understanding. Although, it was partly his error and partly Donnarumma’s that saw 18-year-old Amad Diallo knock in a composed header from close range to give United the lead.
The Ivorian substitute strided past Tomori and Diogo Dalot, finding himself in line with Bruno Fernandes’ pinpoint pass from the centre of the field. Tomori suffered from a lapse of concentration and a lack of communication with left-back Diogo Dalot. His only error of the match, in what was otherwise a fantastic showing.
He dealt with Mason Greenwood and his fellow attackers comfortably throughout 90 minutes, playing an important part in keeping the Red Devils’ frontline ineffective.
Fikayo Tomori vs Manchester United:
– 90 mins played
– 88% pass accuracy
– 4 ground duels won
– 2 tackles
– 1 clearance
– 2 dribbles completed
Another solid performance 💪 pic.twitter.com/aYeqVkC065
— Talk Chelsea (@talkchelsea) March 12, 2021
On the big stages, Tomori is still yet to gather the experience that would see him become a regular at a club like Milan. The Canada-born England international has gained the confidence of Pioli ever since moving to the Italian giants. His newly instilled confidence has seen him start in six matches already across Serie A and Coppa Italia for Milan.
Ex-Milan manager Capello and current technical director Paolo Maldini praised Tomori for his quickness as a defender, so far as to calling Milan ‘lucky’ for having the Chelsea outcast.
It remains to be seen whether Milan will exercise their option to buy the England centre-back from Chelsea at the end of the season.
But, if Tomori does continue with his current form, Milan would hardly think twice to activate the €25m purchase option.
You can watch the full highlights video of Tomori’s performance below: