After thirty-five days away, AC Milan were back in action at San Siro for a very special friendly against Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani's Monza. An important opponent, not only because of the connection between the Rossoneri and the Brianzoli, but also because of the calibre of the squad that Mister Brocchi has at his disposal for the next season in Serie B. The 90 minutes eventually saw AC Milan overcome their opponents in a 4-1 win, thanks to goals from Calabria, Daniel Maldini, Kalulu and Colombo. There were plenty of positives to take from the match for Coach Stefano Pioli. For starters, his side completed their first full 90 minutes since returning to training without much difficulty; and then there were the individual performances, especially that of Daniel Maldini. It's clear that at this stage of the season we can't expect AC Milan to be at peak fitness, but AC Milan were able to control the game, creating lots of opportunities. The only thing missing, for much of the game, was clinical finishing. Pre-season will continue with another friendly on Wednesday at Milanello, when AC Milan will take on Vicenza at 17:00 CEST, as the Rossoneri prepare for their Europa League qualifier against Shamrock Rovers.
Coach Pioli opted for a now well-established 4-2-3-1 formation, with Antonio Donnarumma in goal, Calabria, Duarte, Bellodi and Theo Hernández as the starting back four, Kessie and Bennacer playing together in the middle of the park, and Roback, Paquetá and Maldini sitting in behind Zlatan Ibrahimović, the lone striker. Right from the off, the Rossoneri were in control of the match, with Calabria swiftly finding the breakthrough, driving it home into the bottom-left corner past Monza keeper Eugenio Lamanna. It was certainly a lively start to the match, and in the 9th minute, Ibra came close to finding a second with a well-struck effort from inside the penalty area, prompting a reflex save from the Monza shot-stopper. Monza, for their part, soon applied some real pressure, and in the 23rd minute, a quickly-taken free kick left Finotto one-on-one with the keeper, beating Donnarumma and slotting home into an open goal to make it 1-1. In the 41st minute, AC Milan regained their lead, with a delightful one-two between Paquetá and Maldini putting the latter through on goal, before he scored with a cool finish, finding the top-right corner from the left-hand side of the box to make it 2-1. The tempo remained high, and in the second half, a series of substitutions injected some new energy into both sides. In the 67th minute, AC Milan went back on the attack, with Maldini finding Theo Hernández, but the Spaniard's shot was off the mark. Monza remained persistent in their pursuit of an equaliser, and in the 82nd minute, a mix-up in the penalty area ended up forcing a goal-line clearance from Theo. The final phase of the game was dominated by the Rossoneri. First, Kalulu extended the hosts' lead with an excellent right-footed strike, before Colombo put the icing on the cake for the Rossoneri with an inch-perfect shot from the edge of the area, making it 4-1 to the Rossoneri in stoppage time.
AC MILAN 4-1 MONZA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): A. Donnarumma; Calabria; Duarte (77' Kalulu); Bellodi (83' Michelis); Hernández; Bennacer (46' Krunić), Kessie (77' Pobega); Maldini (77' Laxalt); Paquetá (77' Díaz); Roback (77' Castillejo); Ibrahimović (77' Colombo). Subs: Jungdal, Moleri, Mionić, Sala. Coach: Pioli.
MONZA (4-3-1-2): Lamanna (56' Di Gregorio); Sampirisi (77' Rigoni); Paletta; Bellusci (62' Fossati); D'Errico (62' Gliozzi); Barberis (62' Scaglia), Finotto (62' Barillà), Chiricò (46' Donati); Armellino (77' Mosti); Maric (77' Anastasio); Lepore (46' Machin). Subs: Sommariva, Lombardi. Coach: Brocchi.
Referee: Paolo Sozza
Goals: 6' Calabria (ACM), 23' Finotto (Mo), 86' Maldini (ACM), 89' Kalulu (ACM), 90+2' Colombo (ACM).
Our Home Kit and Third Kit for the 2020/21 season are now available: visit our AC Milan Online Store now!