Out-on-loan Sunderland striker Fabio Borini once again proved his worth for European giants AC Milan as the Italian fired Gennaro Gattuso's men into the last 16 of the Europa League, running out 1-0 winners against Bulgarian champions PFC Ludogorets at the San Siro.
With the ball sent across the face of goal by promising forward Patrick Cutrone, Borini arrived at the back stick to finish well, adding his third goal for Milan in a matter of weeks.
In a conversation with Roker Report, AC Milan site ‘The AC Milan Offside’ offered up some praise for the man signed from Liverpool, crediting him for his fine goal and performance yesterday evening;
He played well - he put in a tireless performance in a different position once again and netted the only goal by placing a ball in the roof of the net after meeting a driven cross.
But, unfortunately for Fabio, they suggested that this doesn’t mean that he’ll have earned himself a place in the starting eleven when they take on his former club Roma at the weekend;
I would guess that this won’t have necessarily earned him a place in the team, because Gattuso rested Suso and Hakan (Çalhanoğlu) for the game with Roma this Sunday - though his form will have earned him minutes.
Goal Borini. Assist from Cutrone. // AC Milan 1-0 Ludogoret. pic.twitter.com/RbVaX2iV9a— Dzharot Milano_1899 (@Dzharot_1899) February 23, 2018
The 26-year-old has struggled to nail down a starting position since Gattuso was named as manager of the Rossoneri in late November, but has done plenty to impress his new boss having recently having scored in Serie A against S.P.A.L alongside two goals over the two-legged Europa League tie with Ludogorets.
Bentivoglio-born Borini came off the bench a fortnight ago to score AC Milan’s final goal in a 4-0 win away to S.P.A.L in Serie A, firing home powerfully to secure the Italian side's victory.
In the first leg against Ludogorets, the versatile penalty specialist replaced Hakan Calhanoglu in the 75th minute and managed to add some gloss by scoring the third goal in Milan's 3-0 away win.
But, much like his time on Wearside, Fabio has been unable to nail down a position in the team and has played at right wing back, right midfield, as a number ten and in a lone role up front.
Mackems will no doubt be frustrated to see a player - who could have contributed to avoiding this seasons calamitous fall to bottom of the Championship - do so well for a high profile team plying their trade in the upper echelons of European football.