Tonight's match was the Rossoneri's fourth and final friendly before the season gets underway. This time around, Brescia were the opponents at Milanello. And once more, the Rossoneri came out on top, with goals from Kessie, Colombo and Castillejo sealing a 3-1 win for the home side. With the Club's management watching over them, Coach Pioli's side, playing in their now well-established 4-2-3-1 formation, looked confident, professional and in good physical condition, with a real cutting edge throughout. It was truly a great performance all round, and it was encouraging that the Rossoneri had no trouble getting on the scoresheet. Though it would be difficult to find fault with the Rossoneri's performance, perhaps it would have made the victory even sweeter if they had kept a clean sheet. Nonetheless, it's important to note the impressive numbers put up by Colombo and Castillejo, who were both on the scoresheet tonight, finishing as the Rossoneri's joint top scorers in pre-season with three goals each. But the positives that Coach Pioli can take away from the match don't stop there: it was another great performance for Davide Calabria, and Sandro Tonali and Ciprian Tătărușanu made their debuts for the Club. Moreover, it was a great way to prepare for the Rossoneri's first match in the Europa League on Thursday 17 September at 20:00 CEST, when AC Milan will be facing Shamrock Rovers in Dublin, as they pursue a place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN V BRESCIA
The Rossoneri quickly took control of the match, moving the ball around well and dominating possession, but they struggled to create chances: in the early phases of the match, the only real chance was a mishit header from Kjær (5'). Suddenly, Brescia came within a whisker of the opener through Ayé (21'), who took advantage of an error from Hernández, but with the goal gaping, he fired wide. In the 25th minute, Saelemaekers was the danger man, just grazing the crossbar with a left-footed volley off Calabria's cross. The Diavolo became more and more dangerous as the match went on: in the 28th minute, some quick feet from Castillejo left him in a dangerous position, but he was ultimately unable to find the opener. In the 37th minute, Colombo won the ball in a dangerous position, but was unable to find the target with his effort. Then, in the 40th minute, Kessie finally broke the deadlock, in the right place at the right time to nod home Çalhanoğlu's corner, meaning the Rossoneri went into half-time with a 1-0 lead.
After the break, it didn't take long for AC Milan to find their second: Colombo, in the 49th minute, showed some real tenacity to convert after being denied twice by Brescia keeper Andrenacci. There were also chances for Çalhanoğlu and Saelemaekers, but neither were able to add to the Rossoneri lead. However, a third goal looked like an inevitability, and in the 61st minute, Castillejo found the elusive third, faking a shot before placing it into the bottom corner via the inside of the post with his weak foot. In the 69th minute, Kessie came close to bagging a brace, but unlike with his opener, he failed to find the target. Although Brescia were able to score a consolation in the 74th minute, with Ghezzi latching onto a clearance from Tătărușanu and managed to get the better of the Rossoneri keeper, the result was well and truly in the bag for the Rossoneri. In the 86th minute, Tonali had a pop from the edge of the area, with the shot flying just over the bar. However, ultimately, the Rossoneri were unable to add to their lead, and the match finished 3-1.
AC MILAN 3-1 BRESCIA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma (57' Tătărușanu); Calabria (83' Kalulu), Kjær, Gabbia, Hernández (83' Laxalt); Kessie, Bennacer (73' Tonali); Castillejo (57' Díaz), Çalhanoğlu (83' Paquetá), Saelemaekers (57' Krunić); Colombo (57' Maldini). Subs: A. Donnarumma; Bellodi; Krunić, Michelis, Pobega. Coach: Pioli.
BRESCIA (4-3-3): Andrenacci; Sabelli, Papetti, Mangraviti (50' Matějů), Martella; Špalek, Bjarnason (50' Viviani), Dessena; Zmrhal, Ayé, Morosini (57' Ghezzi). Subs: Filigheddu; Semprini; Ferrari. Coach: Delneri.
Referee: Bonacina di Bergamo.
Goals: 40' Kessie (M), 49' Colombo (M), 61' Castillejo (M), 74' Ghezzi (B).
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