The first stage of the $ACM Fan Token European Summer Tour 2021 tonight ended in a draw. In Nice in the French Riviera, AC Milan were able to peg the hosts back thanks to Olivier Giroud’s first goal for the Rossoneri: the game ended 1-1, a fair result that spoke to the impressive level of preparation done by Stefano Pioli’s men, who held their own against a side much further through their pre-season training. Indeed, Nice start their league campaign next weekend.
After a cagey first half, the second period saw both sides improve their play and condition; AC Milan’s reaction to the French hosts’ brief lead - earned thanks to Gouiri’s goal - would have been particularly pleasing to the coaching staff. Both Giroud, who scored with his first touch with a good header following a dead-ball situation, and Mike Maignan, who played 45 minutes, impressed on debut. The Rossoneri now face a week with two tough tests: first Wednesday evening against Valencia for the Trofeo Naranja and then Sunday afternoon in Klagenfurt, Austria, against Real Madrid.
GALLERY: IMAGES FROM THE GAME
In a starting XI with three changes from the Modena game, Mike Maignan made his debut for the side. AC Milan were dangerous early on; on 7 minutes, Benitez had to come out and punch to deny Leão and a Hernández free-kick a minute later threatened. Our first shot on goal was a powerful left-footed strike from Pobega after a quarter of an hour, after a couple of attacks from the hosts, whilst Theo again came close from a direct free-kick a few minutes later. After 23 minutes, Gouiri hit the post from a free-kick, followed by a bitty and physical period of the game. Maignan was alive to a Rosario header on 39 minutes, which was the last of the goalmouth action from a cagey first half.
The opener came after 58 minutes, when a Krunić foul on Ndoje in the box led to a generous spot-kick award from the referee. Gouiri was on hand to slot it away to give Nice the lead. The Rossoneri responded less than 10 minutes later, when Olivier Giroud bagged his first goal for the Club: Castillejo whipped in a free-kick from the left, which the Frenchman nipped in to head home for the equaliser. The goal brought AC Milan to life somewhat, with the winner almost coming on 75 minutes when Giroud came close to converting a Conti cross from the right. That was the only chance worthy of note in a final 20 minutes that was predictably littered with substitutions.
OGC NICE 1-1 AC MILAN
OGC NICE (4-2-4): Benitez; Atal (70' Lotomba), Todibo, Dante (70' Daniliuc), Kamara; Rosario (79' Smith), Thuram; Kluivert (46' Maolida), Gouiri (84' Amraoui), Da Cunha (70' Lemina), Ndoje. Subs.: Boulhendi; Trouillet, Parsemain. Coach: Galtier.
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan (46' Tătăruşanu); Calabria (46' Gabbia), Tomori (70' Conti), Romagnoli (70' Caldara), Hernández (60' Ballo-Touré); Pobega (60' Maldini), Tonali (86' Di Gesù); Saelemaekers (60' Castillejo), Díaz (70' Rebić), Krunić; Leão (60' Giroud). Subs: Robotti. Coach: Pioli.
Referee: Florent Batta (France).
Goals: 58' pen. Gouiri (N), 65' Giroud (M)
Booked: 19' Tonali (M), 29' Kluivert (N), 30' Hernández (M),
The new PUMA Home and Away Jerseys for the 2021/22 season are available: buy them now!