Juventus 2-2 Milan: Rossoneri and Bianconeri all square after four set piece goals

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan got another useful preseason run-out in Los Angeles as they drew 2-2 with Serie A rivals Juventus at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

Milan twice led during the game through Malick Thiaw’s header from a free-kick and Olivier Giroud’s close range finish after an assist from the German but they were ultimately unable to hang onto the lead both times.

Danilo equalised the first time for Juventus, stabbing home a corner that the Rossoneri failed to clear, and then it was Daniele Rugani whose header deflected off Giroud to beat Maignan and make it 2-2.

Head coach Stefano Pioli named a stronger starting line-up compared to the team that played Real Madrid earlier in the week, with Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez, Malick Thiaw, Tijjani Reijnders, Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao all coming in.

Milan began the game demonstrating a high press and they had the ball in the net after less than two minutes. Davide Calabria stole position inside Juve’s half and Christian Pulisic squared for Giroud to fire home, but the USA international had just strayed offside.

Fikayo Tomori had a hard landing inside the opening 10 minutes as he went up for a challenge with Kean and fell on his back. It looked as if he might have to come off, but he was able to run it off.

Thiaw was the first name into the book in the 15th minute after he mistimed a challenge on a surging Kean, but Locatelli’s hard tackle on Loftus-Cheek moments later did not get the same punishment.

The first effort of the game came from Chiesa as he cut inside and fired into the arms of Maignan, but Calabria – who he went past – was worryingly forced off with what looked like a groin problem. Alessandro Florenzi replaced him.

On the 23 minute mark, Milan took the lead and it came from a set piece, just as it did against Real Madrid. Reijnders earned a free-kick in a dangerous position that was whipped in by Theo and met by Thiaw, whose header beat Szczęsny and nestled in the far corner.

Juve could have drawn level not long after as Weah showed his pace to get away from his man down their right side, pulling the ball back to the edge of the box where Chiesa was waiting, but he fired narrowly wide.

The Bianconeri did get themselves level ten minutes after Milan’s opener. It came in scrappy fashion as a corner was glanced on by McKennie and should have been converted by Gatti, but eventually his defensive partner Danilo stabbed home at the second attempt.

Just over six minutes before the break, Milan got their lead back. A corner from the right side was taken short and whipped in by Pulisic before being headed down by Thiaw to Giroud who was stood in acres of space. The Frenchman volleyed in first time with Juventus players adamant he was offside, but replays showed he was well onside.

It took just over two minutes for Juventus to get themselves level for the second time, and again it came from a set piece. Chiesa’s low free-kick was met by Rugani’s stooping header, which deflected off Giroud and past Maignan.

Pulisic did well to draw a free-kick with a darting run through the heart of the Juve defence in the 55th minute, and Giroud tested their substitute goalkeeper Pinsoglio with a dipping low shot from it.

Moments later, Giroud wasn’t a million miles away from replicating his famous scorpion kick goal that he scored for Arsenal years back, though he didn’t quite connect as cleanly with Reijnders’ cross.

Just before the hour mark, Pioli made wholesale changes. Florenzi was the only player to remain as Marco Sportiello, Jan-Carlo Simic, Davide Bartesaghi, Alexis Saelemaekes, Tommaso Pobega, Charles De Ketelaere, Yacine Adli, Luka Romero, Chaka Traore and Lorenzo Colombo came on.

With both teams having made big changes the game descended into somewhat of a lull, though Pobega was inches away from getting Milan’s third 15 minutes from the end with a shot from distance.

Less than a minute later, the Rossoneri had a couple more chances. Chaka Traore did well to steal possession back in a dangerous place but saw his shot blocked, then Pinsoglio saved from Romero’s stabbed effort on the rebound.

A final change came with seven minutes left as Kevin Zeroli came on for Florenzi, and with the score level at 2-2 it went to a token penalty shootout.

Luka Romero slipped and missed the target while Pobega saw his spot kick saved but Sportiello thwarted Iling-Junior to take it to sudden death. Bartesaghi failed to score, and Soule converted the winning kick.

Tags AC Milan Juventus-Milan


  1. Notes:

    Reijnders was prime gullit on that pitch
    Singo needs to come in as Calabria has the quality of a f*cking paper straw
    Giroud has no pace
    Leão and Theo not at their best yet
    Pulisic played alright, juventus were very defensive at times and limited themselves to counters quite frequently which I found surprising in a friendly
    Loftus cheek played decent
    Krunic is just not good enough to be a 6
    Thiaw was overall very good
    Tomori had a few mistakes but overall was alright

    1. Totally agree with reijnders.
      I love how he keeps possession of the ball, driving forward and have great through passes.
      Too bad most of the time giroud was too slow, but not blaming giroud of course, he’s 37.
      But now the potential of playing leao, chuk, and okafor upfront with reijnders behind them already sounds promising

    2. Looking back on highlights I’ll change my opinion on Thiaw and Tomori to a bit sloppy at times and could’ve handled situations better, they as defenders should’ve have contributed more to preventing the goals but at the same time the fullbacks were not defending well enough and neither was Krunic doing his job as a 6

    3. I was curious about De ketelaere playing in midfield . I haven’t read anything about his performance? Anything guys?
      As things stand he won’t get playing time in the forward positions with Chuku & Okafor absent Pioli still deployed him in midfield so if he doesn’t perform there he should be loaned, sold or involved in a player swap.

    4. Dude did u just say Reinjders was like prime Gullit? Are u insane? I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen Gullit play. The game wouldn’t have been 2-2

      1. @IKWYDLS, I stopped reading the crap as soon as I read that first line. I was up 3am watching a preseason, just because I’m a Milan fan and now I come to read this. Imagine if I had not seen the match.

        I don’t know why @Gigi is orgasming all over the place over “Rudolf.” Pretty sure he just read the name Gullit somewhere.

  2. Rejinders and Loftus-Cheek played really good. IT was a very good game from our team, despite lacking a couple of players and just starting up. We definitely have a good bench and a good season I think ahead.

    1. I’m starting to think Giroud is making our attack really impotent, the lack of pace just lets us down. I really hope Okafor can bring something else to that ST position

      1. I really don’t think so.
        Milan still need player like giroud who is a post player, who can hold the ball, and be a target man.
        The pace will be produced from both flanks.
        That being said, i wouldn’t mind if milan sign a younger target man, since okafor is more of a second striker not a target man.

    2. Totally man.
      This season we finally have players who are equal to the starting line up, especially upfront.
      I love how milan now have so many options for the right side.
      Reijnders was really good.
      I already like what i see from him.

  3. Depressing to watch, almost feels like last season but with new players. Pioli managed to replicate last season’s woes with new players. It’s clear we may be having a coach issue on our hand.

  4. Total follishnes. Cardinals is forcing Musah move just because he’s American where’s we don’t have concrete defence. We need again another 30M to look for a quality defender. We don’t believe in Tomori any more.

  5. The fact is Olivier Giroud scores goals and he scored again ,,.you need a player like him inside the 18 yard area ..If he has pace around him ,that’s what matters.
    We need Olivier Giroud..Why do some of you complain…He will score around 20 goals in all competitions this season ,,,that is not a bad return..
    We will have a good season …

    1. Tbf after giving it a few hours I take it back saying that Giroud lack of pace holds us back, if we look back at the match and understand it, Leão and pulisic were not really managing to beat their men on the wings very often which limited ourselves massively. Therefore on the attacking side considering that we limited ourselves to not beating our men, the fact we converted those set pieces and also created some chances down the middle through some smart drives forward by Reijnders are both positive aspects to our game that we lacked last season. Defense looks sloppy but I believe they will get back into it hopefully while I also believe and hope we go on to get a back up lb, a CB option and a RB, ideally singo. As for the midfield I mean I really liked Loftus cheek and Reijnders, wasn’t very convinced by Krunic as he didn’t do much in both phases of our game so will be interesting to see if we get Musah what he could bring

    2. They whine because Giroud is too slow in video games they play and that makes ’em angry. In the real world the pace is overhyped thing and – like you said – Giroud will score +20 goals this season if he stays fit. Even with his pace – or lack of it.

      1. I agree ma you stay talking sh*t as if Giroud didnt waste 2 chances due to his pace. You don’t have to be a lightning bolt but come on

  6. I think Pioli have to change Krunic with other player, like Adli, or Musah (if he come). And yes, we need fast winger like Chuk.

    Also Okafor for be Giroud partner in front. Searching for south americans player who fast, is good.

    And we also need a fast defender too. Singo will be good.

    Hope, we learned from Madrid. Their counter attack was fast

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