Samuel Chukwueze: How AC Milan forward shone against Lecce

Samuel Chukwueze had a top showing against Lecce (Imago/NurPhoto)


Samuel Chukwueze had a top showing against Lecce (Imago/NurPhoto)

Samuel Chukwueze: How AC Milan forward shone against Lecce

Seye Omidiora 19:39 - 06.04.2024

The wide attacker thrived as the Rossoneri claimed a seventh straight win in all competitions for the first time since September 2006.

Samuel Chukwueze set up Christian Pulisic’s 10th Serie A goal of the season against Lecce to continue his recent fine form for AC Milan in Saturday’s 3-0 win at San Siro.  

AC Milan 3-0 Lecce

The visitors came into the encounter having kept back-to-back clean sheets under new boss Luca Gotti, defeating cellar-dwelling Salernitana 1-0 and holding Roma to a goalless encounter on Easter Monday. 

However, the Salentini were no match for Stefano Pioli’s men, who scored twice in the first 20 minutes through Pulisic and Olivier Giroud before Rafael Leao notched a third before the hour for the hosts. Gotti’s team played the second 45 minutes with 10 men after Nikola Krstovic’s dismissal for serious foul play on Chukwueze.  

Samuel Chukwueze stats against Lecce

The Nigerian was a beneficiary of Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s suspension, playing from the off as Pulisic was utilised in the position behind Giroud in Pioli’s preferred 4-2-3-1, and the Super Eagles forward capitalised on his ninth Serie A start. 

Aside from his assist, no player on either side created more chances than Chukwueze, whose five key passes outdid every teammate or opponent. One of those setup Pulisic’s goal, even if the USMNT superstar finished expertly to score from a low-percentage chance in the sixth minute. The Nigerian teed up Luka Jovic to create his only big chance for the substitute, but the forward was denied by Wladimiro Falcone

Samuel Chukwueze
Chukwueze asssited Pulisic's 10th Serie A goal of the season (Imago/Nicolo Campo)

Digging deeper, only Leao (nine) touched the ball in the opposition box than Chukwueze (six) and the Portugal international also completed more dribbles (five) than the former Villarreal man (three) — joint-third with Theo Hernandez, with Lecce’s Ylber Ramadani going past his marker four times.

Strikingly, the Nigeria international (four) won more fouls than Leao (three), pointing to the menace he carried on the ball in Saturday’s lunchtime game.

Samuel Chukwueze
Samuel Chukwueze was always positive whenever he had possession (Imago/Goal Sports Images)

Without the ball, Chukwueze was successful in nine ground duels, joint-top with his Portuguese teammate, won both tackles contested and made four recoveries — only four Milan teammates were first to more loose balls. After a broadly challenging first year in Milan, the 2023 summer arrival from Villarreal is ending the season positively.  

What comes next for Chukwueze?

Chukwueze may return to the bench in Thursday’s Europa League last-eight first-leg meeting against Roma as Milan seek an eighth consecutive win in all competitions.

The Nigerian could start next weekend’s Serie A meeting with Sassuolo, days before the reverse fixture against Daniele De Rossi’s team at the Olimpico on April 18.