The start of a new season - pre-season. Milan headed to Switzerland to train, test tactics and work out players. Lugano provided the opposition on a hot day in Sweden which saw Milan give a run-out to a whole group of Milan’s new signings. Musacchio, Franck Kessié, Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Fabio Borini made their first starts for Milan.
Despite a bunch of Milan’s flashy new signings on display, it was youth product Patrick Cutrone who impressed early on, finishing off after a spot of fancy footwork from Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Franck Kessié.
Interestingly enough, it was Çalhanoğlu’s first senior game since the end of January, after serving a ban for a breach of contract almost a decade ago - following his acceptance of payments from Trabzonspor. You won’t have to worry much about the Turk’s fitness though - he seemed raring to go and should be fully fit by the start of the Serie A season. The main worry? Ricardo Montolivo, who will certainly need to improve as a regista if Milan want to succeed this season; but I guess that is why they are chasing Lucas Biglia to play the ball forward from a deep position.
Ricardo Rodriguez was another newbie who impressed. RicRod had an early shot on goal, but his rasping shot was parried away for a corner. He showed dominance at the back, and also an eye for a field splitting pass. Look out for this guy next season.
Lugano almost grabbed an equalising goal towards the end of the first half, but Storari came to the rescue, stopping the effort while the Swiss crowed roared Lugano on.
The second-half saw some usual suspects return to the Milan lineup - Mauri, De Sciglio, Sosa, Bacca and Niang amongst others. It was the latter who impressed the most, serving as a pretty electric threat throughout the second half. Carlos Bacca came close scoring, but his tame effort was parried away towards the Lugano backline. It would be another youngster, Giovanni Crociata, who would add Milan’s second of the night and made a case for himself on the night.
That wouldn’t be the last goal of the night. Mauri and Jose Sosa linked up for Milan’s third by splitting the Lugano defence with a wonderful high ball, which Sosa controlled and expertly dispatched into the Lugano goal. Sosa also had a role in Milan’s fourth goal, after finding Gustavo Gomez in the box. Game, set, match and it’s a winning start for Milan!
AC Milan 4 - 0 Lugano
Cutrone, Crociata, Sosa, Gomez