AC Milan 0-1 Barcelona: Rossoneri end USA tour on a negative note

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan lost their final game of the USA pre-season tour as Barcelona scored the only goal thanks to Ansu Fati. With just under three weeks to go until the season opener, the Rossoneri have some work to do. 

Stefano Pioli opted to field the expected starters for the upcoming season from the first minute, making just one change from the 2-2 draw against Juventus. Davide Calabria, who sustained an injury, was replaced by Alessandro Florenzi.

Milan started the game by looking rather sloppy, not pressing high and allowing Barcelona to have the majority of possession. As a result, the Spanish side also had the majority of chances at the start of the first half.

The Rossoneri made quite a few mistakes at the back, giving the ball away in dangerous chances, including a Christian Pulisic pass that set up a perfect chance for Jules Kounde. Fortunately for Milan, the latter’s shot hit the post and Fikayo Tomori then made a great block on the follow-up.

Milan’s first real chance came after 18 minutes and was the result of quick movements. Olivier Giroud laid it off to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and the English man then picked out Tijjani Reijnders in a good position. However, the shot was saved.

After that chance, the Rossoneri clearly improved a bit and the game was much more balanced, with both sides creating a few half-chances here and there. It was actually Milan that came closest towards the end, with Rafael Leao making a trademark run but then seeing his outside-of-the-boot effort saved.

Mike Maignan made a couple of saves in the final minutes of the first half but it was nothing too serious, with the scores remaining 0-0 as both teams headed into the break. Milan then made no chances for the second half, while Barca made quite a few.

The first dangerous chance of the second half also resulted in the first goal of the game. Ansu Fati received the ball on the right flank and rather easily beat Alessandro Florenzi, cutting inside before sending a very good effort past Maignan.

The goalkeeper certainly couldn’t do much about Fati’s shot, but his defensive teammates certainly could have done better to close the winger down. After beating Florenzi, in fact, there was loads of space for the Barca man to pick out the back of the net.

Milan’s first substitution of the game came after 64 minutes as Pierre Kalulu made his first appearance in the USA pre-season tour after recovering from an injury. He replaced Florenzi on the right-hand side.

Ten minutes later, Pioli also decided to bring on the likes of Simon Kjaer, Tommaso Pobega, Luka Romero and Lorenzo Colombo in place of Malick Thiaw, Rade Krunic, Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud. At this point, the game had gone a bit quiet, with the teams trading possession.

In the 76th minute, Milan had their biggest chance of the game as Tijjani Reijnders managed to steal the ball from Sergino Dest. He picked out Rafael Leao on the left flank and the Portuguese winger returned the favour, but the Dutchman completely mishit his shot from a great position. It’s a replay the midfielder won’t want to watch.

Four minutes later, Pioli brought on Davide Bartesaghi in place of Theo Hernandez and the Primavera star’s first action was a great block to deny Barca what looked like a certain goal, following a Kjaer mistake. The 17-year-old certainly has looked good in this pre-season.

Alexis Saelemaekers came on in place of Fikayo Tomtoi with four minutes to go and Milan did have a few half-chances to find the equaliser and take the game to penalties. However, Barcelona defended well and deservedly came away with the win in the end.

It was Milan’s final game of the pre-season tour in the United States and unfortunately, it ended on a negative note. The Rossoneri now have four friendlies remaining in Italy before their season opener against Bologna.

Tags AC Milan Barcelona


  1. Milan needs to stick with 4-2-3-1. A 4-3-3 in attacking play leaves our midfield too open, without energetic players to track back it’ll be a disaster waiting to happen. RLC cannot be a starter, he’ll do better coming into games to wind down the clock. The club needs to invest in a younger, sharper #9 or put faith in Colombo. Pulisic needs to play AM and leave the RW for Chuk or Romero. Reinjders is looking like the best signing so far, he can play more offensive in a double pivot with an enforcer at defensive midfield (Musah). Barca schooled Milan beautifully switching between 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 during play. There’s still a lot of work for the team to do before the season starts. Biggest takeaway for the preseason, is the team getting more minutes in their legs and building cohesion with the new arrivals.

    Forza Milan!!!

  2. Attack toothless with Giroud, he’s too one dimensional at times, you need someone who can actually make a jolted run and catch them off guard

  3. What a shitshow, thoroughly outplayed by a B-C team of Barcelona. Three games, Three losses, sold one of our best players and bought mostly mediocre players and look no better, if anything worse than last season. Pioli and Redbird can go fuck themselves for destroying this team.

  4. I said after the last match against juventus that Pioli may be our problem this season. The midfield setup is just too poor players are playing as though they didn’t train or have no instructions, this is why I advocated for a midfielder who can control play without instructions from the coach cus he isn’t going to get one. We should get Amrabat to balance this team

  5. What a disaster class, thoroughly outplayed by a B-C team of Barcelona. Three games, Three losses, sold one of our best players and bought mostly mediocre players and look no better, if anything worse than last season. Pioli and Redbird can go f*** themselves for destroying this team.

    1. You guys have started again. Why in the world can you be vomiting thes kind of worlds ????? You mean we should stick to the old team with no addition because we wanna keep Tonali ????

    2. This is one of the most embarrassing comments I’ve read. Getting all bent out of shape because a couple of meaningless pre-season friendles? Come on, dude. Face it, most of the players were bought are better than Tonali and that will be proven this season.

  6. All in all what I saw in this tour is that maybe we are ready for serie A but not the champions league especially since we’ll be in pot 3, today’s play didn’t convince we will make it out the group stages, the passings and version from Barca was something else, but this is the match Pioli needed to tweak his tactics around.The team is missing something.

  7. Maignan: 6.5 – a lot of great savings.
    Florenzi: 5 – actually a decent game of him
    Thiaw: 5 – quite solid
    Tomori: 5
    Theo Hernandez: 2 – lack of ambiance and motivation he was so apathetic
    Loftus-Cheek: 6 – a great game of him in my opinion
    Krunic: did he play?
    Reijnders 5.5 – there is a lot of potential there
    Pulisic: 4.5 – didn’t impress
    Giroud: 1
    Leao: 5
    Romero – even in the few minutes he shows his sparkle.

    Pioli : 0

    just now I become to realize our couch is the biggest problem.

    1. Interesting ratings.

      So the next victim of the restless media/fan mash up will be Pioli….

      Should we change the name of the team while we’re at it?

      I mean it’s just a name, it’s surely less important than the actual manager and players who sit under it?

  8. This looser coach style is worrying,
    stats don’t lie;
    According to
    Possession Milan 38.4 vs 61.6( totally outplayed)
    Total shots Milan 8 vs 18( totally outrun)
    Corners Milan 4 vs 8
    Passes Milan 360 vs 601( totally out thoughts)
    Tackling Milan 41% vs 47%( totally outmuscled)
    Passing accuracy Milan 85% vs 92%…
    Season starts in a week time; if these are the teams we will be facing in the champions league and even the sun-par quality serie-A we are in for a long ride!
    Lord have mercy on rossoneri faithful

    1. Milan’s Season starts in 3 weeks.
      Barca Season starts in a week.
      Barca dominates possession vs every team.
      They are the reigning champion of the Spanish league while Milan finished 5th in serie A last season.
      None of those stats mean anything. It’s just a pre-season game

      1. “Milan’s Season starts in 3 weeks.
        Barca Season starts in a week.”

        Good catch! People ALWAYS forget that the leagues starts at different times and two weeks of pre-season training makes a helluva difference.

    2. You do realise that Pioli is only 1 of 3 coaches in Serie A to have won the Scudetto?

      And we sacked Allegri so that leaves Mourinho or Conte….

      I’ll stick to Pioli. You know, because he’s about 5 years of where we expected to be by this state.

      1. It would be really ignorant to say that Milan was not extraordinarily lucky in that season for so many reasons and Pioli was not one of it.

        1. It would be highly disrespectful to the players and the manager, not to mention completely ignoring the fact that we held title winning form for over 2 years from the end of Covid to the last 5 minutes against Roma in January 2023.

          Do you support this team or not?

    3. You are so useless…. ‘41% vs 47% = out muscled?? Hahaha 6% difference 🙂

      And ‘out thoughts’ – not even a word!
      Lol you need Jesus, and an English grammar book 🙂

  9. It’s only preseason so nobody can tell anything.

    Nice to see some consistency in the starting line up. That’ll be important to let the team settle.

  10. Pioli’s 5th year in Milan. And this year he has the privilege of choice. No other option than bringing the result. I always defend Pioli in this forum, but it might really change this year if there’s a lack improvement from his side.

    1. I’m sorry if the team fails this year it will be primarily the fault of the directors for causing the unnecessary disruption.

      If Pioli demanded this many changes then he too has some responsibility but if and when he is sacked that is the end of this project.

      We won one Scudetto, got ahead of ourselves, had a meltdown, sacked the directors, sold a key player and had a totally unnecessary revolution.

      But this is life.

  11. easy melon will become like chelsh*t this season, they bringing too many mediocre players and the fans act like a super team already lmao.

  12. Brain dead. I don’t know what milan going to achieve with pioli and his kind of strategy. No creativity, just stuck with leao & giroud. Same old $**t

  13. Pioli is the problem. Luka Romero should be a starter rather than pulisic. Pulisic should play in small games like v Verona, Lecce etc.

  14. For this match vs Barcelona, i think all players hold themselves.
    – Leao saves his runs & didn’t really making risky dribbles.
    – Theo hold many vertical run that he could make.
    – Loftus-Cheeks also saving many runs that can be made.
    – Thiaw avoid few strong aerial duels.

    Only : Reijnders and Pulisic show their guts.
    Maybe they don’t want to be the next Calabria to side-lined because of muscle issues.

  15. The coach is protecting saelemaeker
    I think the has to be questioned, Junior is better than saelemaeker but the coach will protect his favorite

    1. Salasmaker new position is RB. No two ways about that and overall this morning, we played well. Didn’t take any risky decisions.. kept the ball well and don’t forget we played against Barcelona that handles ball playing well regardless of the players. I feel we would be having a great season.

      We definitely have to start with Leao and Chucky on either side of the field and we’d be okay… lastly I think we would be having plenty of issues with Tomori..

      I know pioli will rest all key players for the upcoming friendly to keep our key players in shape.

      It’s right about time we have a reasonable deputy for Theo… can’t wait

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