Marseille 0-2 AC Milan: Messias and Giroud on target as the Rossoneri dominate in France

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan backed up their midweek win in Austria with another dominant and encouraging win on Sunday evening, this time against Marseille at the Stade Velodrome.

Milan ran out 2-0 winners against a side that secured their return to the Champions League with a second-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season, scoring both goals in the first half as Junior Messias added to his preseason tally and Olivier Giroud marked his return to his homeland with a tidy finish.

Stefano Pioli decided to make multiple changes to the starting line-up from the team that beat Wolfsberger in Austria on Wednesday night as Sandro Tonali, Junior Messias, Brahim Diaz and Olivier Giroud all came into the side.

The opening nine minutes of the game were quite scrappy as both sides began in an intense fashion in the French sunshine, with the first real shot at goal coming when Gerson let fly from 25 yards but fizzed his shot over.

It was the Rossoneri who took the lead though in the 12th minute as Junior Messias added to his preseason tally. Brahim Diaz fed the Brazilian winger down the right and he cut in onto his left foot before curling an effort into the far top corner from the edge of the box.

The game settled down again in the minutes immediately after the goal, with Milan having the next chance in the 22nd minute when Messias tried to net himself a brace with an ambitious overhead kick at the far post that went over.

It was Milan who got the second goal as Giroud showed all of his composure and experience. Messias continued his involvement by pulling a low ball back towards the penalty spot, where the Frenchman was waiting to stroke the ball into the far corner with a magnificent first-time finish.

Two minutes later there was a double chance for Milan to go one better and score three first half goals. First Brahim Diaz and then Messias both shot from from close range, but two good saves were produced to deny them and keep it 2-0.

The final chance of the first half went to the man who was certainly the most involved, as a lovely pass from Calabria released Messias down the right side of the box, but his low shot was easily saved.

There were two substitutions made by Pioli at the interval as Rafael Leao and Yacine Adli were introduced in place of Rebic and Brahim Diaz.

Marseille instantly came out with some intent that had been lacking inside the first half as Payet played a lovely through ball to Clauss, however he dragged his effort wide of Maignan’s far post.

There was a moment of controversy in the 49th minute as Nuno Tavares was given a straight red card for what he perceived to be a tug on Messias, though VAR rightly intervened and it was wiped off as the former Crotone man was offside and was perhaps not clean through on goal either.

A flashpoint followed a few moments later when Tonali seemed to take out some anger after being nutmegged by going through the back of Payet, earning a yellow card, but the resulting free-kick was whipped too far.

In truth the second half after that lacked the same intensity as the first half with both sides becoming more sloppy, but with just over 15 minutes left there was a significant moment.

After spending the last eight months out following knee surgery, Simon Kjaer was part of six subs that came on for the last part of the game along with Gabbia, Florenzi, Ballo-Toure, Krunic and Saelemaekers.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, Marseille did go down to ten men and this time it was fully warranted. Having just been booked, substitute Isaak Toure went studs up into a 50/50 with Krunic and caught the Bosnian, with the referee having no doubts about showing him a second yellow.

The penultimate chance of the game was one that fell to another substitute in Marko Lazetic. Saelemaekers had a shot from 20 yards out that the goalkeeper parried into the path of the Serbian teenager, but he got up well to save the second effort.

With just over 60 seconds left on the clock, Leao produced a spinning snapshot inside the box that whizzed over the crossbar, then Gabbia did the same but from a bit further out not long after.

Kjaer almost marked his return with a goal as his close range effort was well saved, and that would be the last major action in what was another good runout for the Rossoneri.

Tags AC Milan Marseille Milan


  1. Leao should watch it lest he becomes a one trick pony. He doesn’t have to try to go past his opponents all the time. He should be more intelligent on the ball.

  2. First half Milan played great. Fluid football, great ball movement.
    Second half Leao came on , the ball stopped moving and we had a lot of lost balls

  3. People that are thinking of offloading Saele, Messias, etc I believe are not considering the things from the same point of view that current management is.
    The view is that we don’t build to sell for a profit, we build so that the team can become better. A player develops better if there’s stability within the team and he doesn’t have to play every year with a new coach or team-mates.

    If a player has played 5-6 years with the same people, it’s much less likely that he’ll want to move to a different team even if they offer slightly more money.

    If we end up selling is either those players that are not happy with the opportunities and play-time they get, or those players that want a much higher salary.

    Also players like Saele, Krunic, Messias, Florenzi … aka the soldiers, are really needed, They are the glue that keeps the team together, they train well, they give 100% even if they are playing only 20 min per game, they don’t try to take crazy shots instead of passing the ball, and they don’t cause problems in the dressing room if they don’t play a lot. Any winning team will not be winning without these players.

    How many times we’ve seen players that get mad when the coach substitutes them after 60 min and cause a fuss or barely play if they come in at the last 10 min or so …

    1. True, and most of Milan players are in upward trajectory, they age toward their peak age, not away from their peak. Even Messias is still in upward trajectory as he only had limited professional experience before, he will improve tactically.

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