AC Milan faced off against Tottenham Hotspur tonight in Minneapolis as part of the International Champions Cup friendly series. Milan was looking to get a better result than the loss on penalty kicks against another English team, Manchester United, while Spurs were looking to win another match after losing to Barcelona on penalties after they thrashed AS Roma 4-1 earlier in the week.
The match started slowly, as both teams seemed to try and find their way forward with slightly unfamiliar lineups. Calabria was slotted in as left-back and Leonardo Bonucci was sat on the bench with a pending deal almost certainly about to take place. Spurs started a fairly young side, with most of the stars either not with the club or starting on the bench.
Most of the good chances in the first half came from the Milan players, as Patrick Cutrone went close a few times after Suso put some good crosses into the six-yard box that Cutrone just couldn’t reach. Cutrone also got a few free headers, one of which was well saved by the Spurs keeper, and another one that was put just wide. Both times, Cutrone just rose above the defenders and beat everyone to the ball, only for his final touch to let him down just a little bit. Perhaps a bit more match sharpness in the first half would have seen Milan put Spurs away.
Going into half time Spurs would have felt fortunate to held Milan scoreless while the Rossoneri would have rued all of the missed chances that they had in the first half. Milan made two changes at the start of the second half, with Gianluigi Donnarumma and Alen Halilovic coming on for Pepe Reina and Suso.
Spurs punished Milan for missing so many chances in the first half by scoring in the 47th minute. Calabria made a god-awful turnover in his own zone by playing a lazy pass across the backline, and Segna Nkoudou easily pounced on the ball and made no mistake, sending the ball into the back of the net. Donnarumma got to the ball, but was only able to put fingertips to the ball as it was cleanly hit with power.
The second half wasn’t nearly as successful for Milan, and despite some good attempts from Calhanoglu to get Milan back into the game from set pieces, the equalizing goal seemed to escape Milan.
More substitutions seemed to also take a lot of the cohesion out of Milan, as players such as Luca Antonelli, Nikola Kalinic, Jose Mauri, and Frank Tsadjout all got into the match for Milan, while Christian Ericksen and Son Heung-min came in for Spurs. Milan had a few chances to draw level, but they were mostly in vain.
The best Milan chance in the half, if not the match, came late in the second half when Antonelli was free near the edge of the Spurs penalty box, but his pass ahead to Kalinic was total garbage and Kalinic just quit running to the ball that, to be fair to him, he was unlikely to get to. It was still frustrating to see Kalinic quit on the play when Cutrone, in the same situation, would have run himself into the turf trying to get to.
So Milan were unable to get an equalizer in what will be an entirely forgettable match to most fans, except for perhaps the American fans who traveled and spent money to see their favorite club in Minneapolis.
Were you at the match? Let us know in the comments what you thought of the match!