AC Milan boss Rino Gattuso has praised a number of his players after his side cruised past Bulgarian champions Ludogorets with a comfortable 1-0 victory to confirm their place in the Europa League's round of 16.
The Rossoneri, who are now unbeaten in their last 11 matches, went into the game knowing that the visitors would need to score at least three goals to stand any chance of causing an upset.
Any potential for nerves was quickly quelled, however, when former Liverpool and Sunderland striker Fabio Borini slid in Patrick Cutrone's cross at the far post for the first goal of the game in the 22nd minute. From thereon, Ludogorets rarely threatened and Milan saw the game out with relative ease.
Former Milan player and current manager Gennaro Gattuso was delighted with the display and singled out a number of players for praise.
"I did not want to concede and trusted that the defence would play well. It seemed like an easy match but I wasn’t relaxed because I know these types of games can change quickly," he told Milan's official website.
"Yet, we were on top of things and did everything not to concede. Montolivo played his second match in three days and did very well. Locatelli can still give more.
"Zapata had not played since the match against Rijeka and responded positively. Also Mauri gave a decent performance. I’m pleased with Kalinic," Gattuso revealed.
"André Silva would have like to score but regardless of that he played a good game. Cutrone only needs to improve a couple of things and he could also play on the wing.
"Since I arrived, Borini has never given up, he plays English football, very intense and gives always his all."
The draw for the Europa League's round of 16 is scheduled to take place on Friday the 23rd of February at UEFA'S headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.