AC Milan 1, Barcelona 0: Summer of 69

One out of three isn’t bad, right? Milan scraped through 90 minutes of Barcelona attack to win their final match in the International Champions Cup Tournament this year, having lost their first two. Donnarumma kept the team in the match, since the rest of the team were constantly pinned back by what was largely Barcelona’s youth team. And finally, in the last play of stoppage time, Silva stepped up and scored the lone goal, winning a game Barcelona should have easily won themselves. Ironically, he had just handed over his number nine to the more experienced newcomer, Higuain, and had just chosen his new number today, ahead of this match: number 69. His last gasp heroics make me wonder: will he be leaving the club this year? Or was this his way of telling the world that this will be his Milan breakthrough year, beginning with the Summer of 69?

The perfect ending to a not-so-perfect match

Barcelona will remember the number 69 for more than just the number on the back of the striker who punished them, they also had 69% possession. With so much possession, they took 20 shots with only six on target. So terribly wasteful. But Milan were improved from the team that played in Minnesota on Tuesday, being far more clinical with eight shots, five of which were on target. Their defense was much improved as well, although they still forced Gigio into six saves, most of which were quite stunning. I’m sure that’s why he received the MOTM award, too.

Without a doubt the MOTM

But the rest of the match was a mess, and our lack of ability to hold the ball was incredibly disconcerting. Rather than take or keep the ball, Milan fouled the Barca players incessantly, with three yellow cards and 22 fouls whistled to Barcelona’s mere eight fouls. So there is still plenty of work to do. But Kessie showed his ability to keep the ball in that last few seconds of stoppage time, threading it perfectly to Silva, who slotted it past ter Stegen for the goal. 1-0 Milan.

Romagnoli, who seemed a bit lost with the armband on Tuesday, stepped up and wore it well, making a couple of stellar clearances. When it was his turn to actually play captain, he showed his mean streak, pushing a Barca player or two and being more confrontational than calming. That is a worrying trait for me that I have always seen, a trait that will see us on ten men more often than not if he doesn’t learn to curb his temper. But the season hasn’t even started, the armband only fell in his lap five days ago, and he is young. I do believe he is the best choice to wear the armband on this team right now.

Locatelli showing some love

The rest of the team have plenty of work to do, but you can see their grinta. They seem very motivated with the new players waiting at Milanello for them. And with Leonardo just about ready to auction off players hourly to trim the squad down to size, they all certainly seem determined to keep their spot in the squad. Even the young André Silva, the last minute hero and super sub in this friendly. Perhaps the weight of the Milan number nine was just too heavy for his young shoulders? Only time will tell. As for me, I’m hoping this is just the beginning of the striker so many fans are really wanting to just explode with goals. I hope it’s his Summer of 69.

This post inspired by the music if Bryan Adams’ “Summer of 69”

Our next match is
the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid vs. AC Milan
Saturday, August 11 • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)

AC Milan 1, Barcelona 0: Summer of 69 AC Milan 1, Barcelona 0: Summer of 69 Reviewed by Elaine on 11:48 PM Rating: 5
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