MATCH REPORT AC Milan – Manchester City


PITTSBURGH – Milan’s match versus Manchester City in the Guinness International Champions Cup on Sunday afternoon finished 5-1 in favour of the English side.

The Champions of England raced into a four goal lead within the opening half an hour of the match thanks to goals from Jovetic, Navas, Sinclair and Ihenacho. Captain for the evening Sulley Muntari pulled a goal back for Filippo Inzaghi’s boys minutes before the interval.

The start of the second-half meanwhile was postponed due to heavy rain but after a 30 minute delay the two sides took to the pitch. Shortly after the restart, Jovetic completed his brace and gave Man City a 5-1 lead which is how the match ended.

This is how the two sides lined up at the Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, USA in what was the rossoneri’s second match of the Guinness International Champions Cup:

Milan: Agazzi; De Sciglio, Alex, Rami, Constant; Poli, Cristante, Muntari (c); Honda, Niang, El Shaarawy. Subs: Abbiati, Gabriel, Mexes, Albertazzi, Abate, Bonera, Zaccardo, Saponara, Essien, Mastalli, Pinato, Pazzini, Balotelli, Mastour. Coach: Filippo Inzaghi.
Manchester City: Caballero; Clichy, Nastasic, Boyata, Kolarov (c); Sinclair, Fernando, Zuculini, Navas; Jovetic, Ihenacho. Subs: Hart, Wright, Lawlor, Richards, Bossaerts, Denayer, Rekik, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Garcia, Huws, Rodwell, Milner, Divad Silva, Guidetti, Dzeko. Coach: Manuel Pellegrini.

Key moments first-half:
Milan were looking to bounce back after a 3-0 defeat in the first match of the Guinness International Champions Cup against Greek side Olympiacos and started brightly. Within 1 minute Keisuke Honda played through Stephan El Shaarawy down the left flank and the Italian won a corner for his team. From the resulting corner, Brazilian defender Alex headed wide of the target.

Despite a lively start by Inzaghi’s Milan, Stevan Jovetic gave the English champions a 1-0 lead on 12 minutes after latching onto a through ball from Jesus Navas to beat Milan goalkeeper Michael Agazzi at the near post.

Just 1 minute later Scott Sinclair doubled the lead for Manchester City after he connected with a cross from Gael Clichy to put the ball past Agazzi.

A late challenge by Clichy on El Shaarawy earned Milan a free-kick on 20 minutes although no Milan player could get a touch to Bryan Cristante’s free-kick.

The provider for Man City’s first goal Navas then got his name on the score-sheet to make it 3-0 on 23 minutes after an acrobatic effort from inside the penalty area that took a decisive deflection off Andrea Poli to make its way past Agazzi.

Teenager Kelechi Ihenacho scored City’s fourth three minutes later with a central effort from the edge of the area which Agazzi got a hand to but wasn’t able to keep out.

Milan looked to fight back as Niang leapt onto Cristante’s ball over the top, but the French striker’s effort flashed wide of the far post.

Inzaghi’s boys then had a golden chance to cut the gap through El Shaarawy whose header was pushed out for a corner by the Man City goalkeeper Willy Caballero following an excellent assist out from the right by Mattia De Sciglio.

On 42 minutes the captain for the evening Sulley Muntari did manage to pull one back for Milan after a well worked corner. The Ghana midfielder got on the end of a header from Alex to turn the ball into the net and give a half-time score of 4-1 in favour of the English side.

Key moments second-half:
Heavy rain delayed the start of the second half by around 30 minutes, but the storm passed and the two teams resumed the match.

Milan made four changes with Kevin Constant, Alex, Poli and El Shaarawy making way for Ignazio Abate, Daniele Bonera, Michael Essien and Mario Balotelli.

Second-half substitute Essien was soon involved in the match and got on the end of a corner by Honda only to see his headed effort blocked by City’s shot-stopper Caballero.

Moments later Balotelli thought he had made it 4-2, but his close range tap-in was rightly ruled out for offside.

Instead, Jovetic scored his second goal of the game and restored City’s four goal cushion after the striker’s brilliant touch took the ball away from Adil Rami before rifling the ball into the back of the net.

With just over 20 minutes left to play, coach Inzaghi decided to give some playing time to Philippe Mexes, Michelangelo Albertazzi and Riccardo Saponara who all came on for Rami, De Sciglio and Muntari respectively.

Niang went closest to scoring following a low drilled effort which was kept out by Caballero.

Despite all their efforts, Milan weren’t able to get another consolation goal and the match ended 5-1.

Moments before the final whistle, two young fans invaded the pitch to hug their idol Balotelli before being ushered away by the stewards.