AC Milan Primavera’s Youth League adventure began with a 1-0 away defeat to Liverpool today. It’s a harsh result for Federico Giunti’s boys, who reacted well to Woltman’s early goal for The Reds. While the team’s biggest chance came at the end of the first half when El Hilali hit the bar, it was a story of complete Rossoneri domination after the restart, with Liverpool goalkeeper Davies having to intervene on more than one occasion to keep the Diavolo out.
Therefore, despite the disappointing result, there were many positive signs for the young Rossoneri, who certainly didn’t make a bad impression on their return to the European stage for the first time since 2014. Desplanches was solid between the sticks, while there were also excellent performances from Di Gesù in the middle of the park and the substitutes Alesi and Bozzolan. It was a display that could serve as a starting point ahead of the team’s upcoming match in Italy (against Roma at 11:00 CEST on Saturday at Vismara) and, further along, their next showdown in Europe (a home clash against Atlético Madrid on 28 September).
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM LIVERPOOL V AC MILAN
Desplanches started in goal for the first time this season as part of a line-up that contained three players born in 2002 (Stanga, Di Gesù and Capone). President Scaroni, Maldini, Massara and part of Coach Pioli's staff were also present in the stands. The hosts began strongly as Woltman broke the deadlock in the eighth minute. The Rossoneri looked to react, with Capone looking particularly dangerous. Desplanches saved from Gordon and Woltman after 23 and 32 minutes respectively, but it was the Diavolo who generally had the upper hand in the final 15 minutes of the opening period. In the 33rd minute, Davies kept out Amore’s right-footed attempt, while El Hilali struck the woodwork after 40 minutes following great work from Capone. The half ended on an exciting note: first, Desplanches did well to get to Morton’s free kick; then, El Hilali was unable to get the better of Davies in added time.
AC Milan went on the attack at the start of the second half, although Liverpool were defending solidly. The first real chance after the restart fell to Gala, whose low right-footed shot following a corner finished narrowly off target with an hour played. It was the prelude to a Rossoneri siege, with Davies excelling in the Liverpool goal. In the 65th minute, he denied El Hilali from close range, while he then sprang into action to get in the way of Di Gesù’s header from inside the six-yard box with 73 minutes on the clock. Two minutes later, he made a double save to prevent Alesi and El Hilali from scoring. Finally, he produced another stop to keep out Di Gesù’s powerful left-footed effort from distance after 81 minutes. There was still time for two more opportunities for the Diavolo: in the 87th minute, Rossi fired over following Bozzolan’s assist, while Alesi’s cross-shot after 89 minutes also cleared the bar. It finished 1-0.
LIVERPOOL 1-0 AC MILAN
LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Davies; Chambers, Bradley (90' Bajcetic Maquieira), Koumetio, Beck; Gordon, Morton, Stephenson, Balagizi; Woltman, Musialowski (80' Cannonier). Subs.: Mrozek; Norris, Corness, Frauendorf, Clark. Coach: Bridge-Wilkinson.
AC MILAN (4-3-3): Desplanches; Coubis, Stanga, Obaretin, Kerkez (65' Bozzolan); Di Gesù, Foglio (65' Alesi), Gala (90' Björklund); Amore (65' Rossi), El Hilali, Capone. Subs.: Pseftis; Polenghi, Bright. Coach: Giunti.
Referee: Rohit Saggi (Norway)
Goals: 8' Woltman (L).
Booked: 38' Bradley (L), 43' Obaretin (M), 58' Beck (L).
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