The match against Manchester United was Milan’s final International Champions Cup match and provided a stern test for our side. Penalties were the decider, but the word defeat is harsh on Milan considering that there were more positive takeaways from the match in our column than Uniteds.
So what are my top 5 thoughts?
Be patient in Marco
Seeing the 4-3-1-2 in action was a joy to watch. The high press was key to unlocking United’s defence for Suso’s equalising strike, and saw us dominate the ball for long period of the game. We recorded 59% possession against a strong team that is one week away from the start of their season – an impressive feat.
What Giampaolo is trying to achieve with our side on the pitch is evident and exciting. He just needs our patience.
Questions still remain over our midfield. With Borini once again starting as central midfielder, our depth in middle still feels inadequate. With Bennacer now linking up with the team; Bonaventura preparing for his league comeback; Paqueta and Kessie to get up match fitness – we have numerous options.
The rumour mill will continue to turn linking Biglia, Kessie and Calhanoglu with moves away. The missing piece of the puzzle could be a marquee midfield signing. Modric anyone?
Suso as a trequarista can work
I was skeptical when Marco Giampaolo first talked about Suso as a trequarista. His disappearance act in the second half of last season had me calling for his exit.
But on Saturday he looked reborn. Drifting wide and deep, he was always looking for the ball and to move it on quickly to create space. And deservedly took his goal well, curling the ball past David De Gea into the bottom corner.
Andre Silva is surplus
I was thrilled when Andre Silva signed for us back in 2017. However he just lacks the cutting edge up top.
A loan spell at Sevilla last season gave us renewed hope when he started their campaign in prolific form, but his performances soon deteriorated and Sevilla didn’t want to purchase him.
This summer we thought he was off to Monaco, however the move fell through. On Saturday he looked lacklustre, when fans may have preferred seeing Rafael Leao make his debut.
Hernandez over Rodriguez
Rodriguez is a solid player but also very safe. He didn’t threaten much on the left side during the match, compared to his right back equivalent Davide Calabria.
Theo Hernandez showed a lot of hunger against Bayern Munich at the beginning of preseason and has been unfortunately sidelined until the start of the season. But he gave us Milan fans something that we crave – pace and excitement. When fit, I can see him starting ahead of Rodriguez.