28 July 2019

BENFICA CLAIM NARROW WIN IN FOXBOROUGH

A deflected Taarabt strike proved to be the difference

It was an excellent performance with quick play as the side looked to attack. At Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, the new AC Milan under Marco Giampaolo showed positive flashes for at least an hour in front of 27,565 spectators. Against Benfica in the second and final match in America, the Rossoneri went down 0-1 (like against Bayern Munich) but the side once against demonstrated that it wants to be more positive and play an attacking brand of football. The team kept looking to get on the ball and regain possession high up the pitch, creating various chances by doing so. A goal was the only thing lacking but it's a crucial detail and one that will have to come soon. The result was a negative one with the former Milan player Taarabt's goal settling the contest. Overall, the tour has been positive in allowing the team to develop together despite losing both matches by a single goal. Now, the Diavolo will return to Italy before heading on to Cardiff. There at 18:30 CEST (17:30 local time) on Saturday 3 August, AC Milan will face Manchester United at the Millennium Stadium in the final match of the 2019 ICC.

SEE THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN v BENFICA 

MATCH REPORT
After a good start to the game from the Rossoneri, the first chance fell for Rafa who fired just over in the fifth minute. In the 17th minute, Calhanoglu struck the post with a great right-foot effort from the edge of the box. Soon after, it was Castillejo's turn to see a chance fall to him but Vlachodimos saved. In the 22nd minute, Borini had two chances to break the deadlock, first on the volley and then with his head. Milan kept pressing. In the 27th minute, Suso took aim and fired but couldn't keep it on target. In the 43d minute, Piątek was unable to hit the target from a great position. Then, Donnarumma shone as he made an excellent save in the first minute of stoppage time from Pires and then he made an even better save two minutes later from Rafa in the six-yard box. At the start of the second half, Seferovic tested Reina right out of the blocks. 53 minutes in, Castillejo was stopped by the goalkeeper after a good passage of play. With the tempo dropping off, Benfica took the lead. In the 70th minute, a Taarabt shot from outside the box hit Biglia to wrong foot Reina. The Diavolo responded with Suso narrowly missing in the 81st minute with a placed effort. In the 83rd minute, Biglia hit an almost-perfect free kick that hit the bar with Piątek unable to nod home the rebound.

RELIVE AC MILAN V BENFICA PLAY BY PLAY 

AC MILAN 0-1 BENFICA

AC MILAN (4-3-1-2): Donnarumma (46' Reina); Calabria (46' Conti), Musacchio (64' Gabbia), Romagnoli, Rodriguez (64' Strinić); Borini (87' Brescianini), Biglia, Calhanoglu (64' Krunić); Suso; Castillejo, Piątek (87' Maldini). Subs: A. Donnarumma; Gabbia; Bonaventura, Mionić; Capanni, Capone. Coach: Giampaolo.

BENFICA (4-4-2): Vlachodimos; Tavares, Dias, Ferro (73' Jardel), Grimaldo (73' Ebuehi); Pizzi (70' Chiquinho), Fejsa (73' Florentino), Pires (73' Samaris), Rafa (72' Caio); Taarabt (86' Jota), Seferovic (87' Zivkovic). Subs.: Svilar, Zlobin; Almeida, Conti, Ferreira; Chiquinho, Dantas; Cervi. Coach: Lage.

Referee: Sorin Stoica.
Goals: 70' Taarabt (B).
Booked: 38' Pizzi (B), 38' Musacchio (M), 65' Fejsa (B).

 

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