Serie A 2022/23: Player of the Week – Matchday 16

With one round of Serie A fixtures over already in 2023, we've chosen our Player of the Week for Matchday 16.

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Sandro Tonali was influential in AC Milan‘s 2-1 victory against Salernitana on Wednesday afternoon, playing a part in both Rossoneri goals, and he became our Player of the Week for Serie A Matchday 16.

The Rossoneri and the Granata opened the first round of 2023 alongside Sassuolo v Sampdoria in the lunchtime kick-off time slot, and the Italian giants were able to hold onto second place in the league table with a victory in Campania.

It was the presence of Tonali in midfield that made the difference, assisting for the first goal and then scoring the second, which meant that Federico Bonazzoli’s late strike was nothing more than a consolation.

Tonali makes the difference for Pioli

Although Tonali took some time to adapt at AC Milan after his arrival from Brescia in 2020, the 22-year-old has grown into a midfielder that can provide plenty of stamina as well as superb passing ability under the tutelage of Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli.

That passing quality was clear to see in the 10th minute, when he received the ball on the left wing, and with just one touch, he played a through-ball with his right foot that sent Rafael Leao clear. The Portuguese winger then dribbled past Salernitana goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and struck the ball into the net from a tight angle.

Five minutes later, Tonali got on the scoresheet himself when his initial shot was saved by Ochoa, then Brahim Diaz got the loose ball and laid it off for the Italy international to strike the ball through an abundance of players in the penalty area.

Sandro Tonali and Brahim Diaz embrace after the second AC Milan goal against Salernitana. [@acmilan]

Tonali creative throughout for AC Milan

Tonali returned the favour for Diaz in the 28th minute but the Spaniard just missed the target. The 22-year-old also lobbed a free-kick in the direction of Olivier Giroud but the Frenchman’s volley was saved by Ochoa.

The victory takes AC Milan to 36 points after 16 Serie A matches while Tonali has two goals and three assists in 14 league appearances for the campaign.

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