After a shocking performance against Liverpool at the weekend, Milan faced another Premier League outfit at the first ever event at new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. This time was against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, and Montella’s men needed a response following an awful outing against the Mersyside club. The rossoneri will look to end their US adventure with a win over Chelsea!
Milan, looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat at the hands to Liverpool named a starting lineup with six changes. That lineup is as follows, with the players in parnethesses coming on in the minute that corresponds with the number: (4-3-3) Donnarumma; Abate (Montolivo 60), Paletta, Romagnoli (Vergara 66), Calabria (Vido 82); Poli, Kucka, Bonaventura; Suso (Zanellato 82), Luiz Adriano (Honda 66), Niang (Matri 82).
In the second minute of play, it’s Milan whom had the first chance of the match. Calabria’s cross was played in and met by an Abate header at the far post. The Belgian in goal for Chelsea did well to deny the right-back from point blank range.
A bit of a comedy show started in the fifth minute when Alessio Romagnoli was booked for hauling down Chelsea striker Traore. The young center back ripped the attackers jesey in two, and a minute later Paletta did the same to Diego Costa, in the Milan area. Luckily no penalty was given.
15 minutes in, and Milan where the better side in the contest. Luiz Adriano’s perfectly weighted through ball was met by an on rushing Niang who had his left footed shot saved by the legs of Courtois.
The deadlock was broken against the run of play, when Bertrand Traore headed into an empty net, following a good Donnarumma save on a Moses shot to give the west London club a 1-0 lead. Milan’s defense was all over the place as a throw in found Matic, and the pass the Moses cut open the rossoneri back line.
Chelsea where pushing to make it two, in the 32nd minute. Left back Azpilicueta had a drive just go beyond Donnarumma, and the post.
Milan started to push for an equalizer, and in the thirty-fifth minute nearly found it through Bonaventura. No pressure from Chelsea so he had a pop from distance only to be punched away by Courtois in goal.
Three minutes later, Bonaventura wasn’t to be denied again! Calabria was brought down on the edge of the box by Willian and the resulting free-kick was a thing of magic, from the guy they call “Jack”.
The last chance of the half, fell the way of Aina. The right backs shot from distance went just wide of Donnarumma’s goal.
Milan came out of the break flying. In the forty-seventh minute, the ball fell to Abate on the edge of the eighteen and his left footed strike went just wide of the target.
A minute later, Milan should have taken the lead through Niang. The Frenchman’s strike on his weaker left foot failed to even test the Chelsea goalkeeper.
Chelsea sprung a counterattack through Hazard. The ball was passed onto Willian who’s powerful strike was met by Gigio’s left glove, and push out by the seventeen year-old while still on the ground. Fantastic piece of goalkeeping!
Azpilicueta broke down the Milan right back spot in the 69th minute, which was being occupied by Poli (after Montolivo replaced Abate). The Spainiard’s volleyed cross in was met by the makeshift right backs hand. So, penalty to Chelsea. Second half substitute Oscar stepped up to the spot to score, even with Donnarumma going the correct way.
Oscar would put the final nail in the coffin in the eighty-seventh minute, with a goal to make it 3-1 for Chelsea. He did what Niang failed to convert in the forty-eighth minute. Donnarumma who was on the near post was left stranded.
Up next for Montella’s men is a trip to Sassuolo’s Mapei Stadium on 10 August for the annual Trofeo TIM. This years will be contested by Milan, Sassuolo and Celta Vigo of La Liga. Milan are the current two time defending Champions of this pre-season tournament.