Souvenirs from Germany

Milan played their first official preseason match on Saturday, the Telekom Cup vs. FC Köln in Germany. With many of the starters having just returned on Friday due to International duty after the season, Pioli had the opportunity to play a lot of bench and Primavera players. With the transfer window only just started and so many players unavailable, this match was never going to be any kind of indication of how the team will play this season. There was a trophy up for grabs, however, and we learned a few things by getting to see some people play who do not normally get playing time. So we did bring home some souvenirs from Germany.

The team that cannot stop winning

The final score was Köln 1, Milan 2. Giroud scored the first goal for Milan in the 16th minute after a delightful Rebić backheel, then the Frenchman chipped the ball over the keeper, went around and tapped it in to make it 1-0. 

Brahim would assist the second goal, which took a slight deflection as Giroud sent it curling in to make it 2-0 in the 36th minute. That was all that Milan really needed to do against last season's seventh place Bundesliga side, even with only a few of our starters on the pitch. Tatarusanu had a really nice save and did well the 45 minutes he played, but Köln really had a tough time containing Giroud. The starting lineup from Pioli was:

Tatarusanu; Florenzi, Kalulu, Gabbia, Ballo-Touré; Bakayoko, Pobega, Messias; Brahim Díaz, Rebić; and Giroud. Rebić seems to be taking on the role of captain very well, he scored in the training match last week vs. Lemine Almenno

Brahim Díaz with an assist for the second goal

For the second half, Pioli subbed Mirante on for Tatarusanu and Adli on for Brahim Díaz. Both of these subs were of note, as this was the first time we saw Mirante play for Milan and we had only seen Adli on Wednesday in the training match. Mirante did surprisingly well for a goalkeeper who did not play a single minute all last season, it is nice to know we have him if needed. Adli looks like he will be everything he was promised if given time to adjust to Italian football. He certainly is motivated and anxious to prove himself.

Mirante's still got some saves in him

In the 61st minute, Pioli subbed on Daniel Maldini for Rebić, then a slew of Primavera players: Traoré for Messias, Coubis for Florenzi, Michelis for Kalulu, and Roback for Giroud. The new formation at this point was: Mirante; Coubis, Michelis, Gabbia, Ballo-Touré; Bakayoko, Pobega; Traoré, Adli, Daniel Maldini; and Roback.

A team of mostly young players warming up

Brescianini was subbed on for Bakayoko in the 75th, then Bartesaghi on for Ballo-Touré and Robotti on for Pobega in the 82nd. It was with this lineup of Mirante and young players that Milan conceded the goal, a Dietz goal assisted by Hector in the 86th. Both Hector and Daniel Maldini would receive yellows in the 90th minute, with Maldini's yellow the only Milan yellow as a souvenir of the match.

Adli is young, but exciting to watch

Milan were awarded the illustrious Telekom Cup and shrouded in an ocean of metallic purple and silver streamers for their troubles. They just cannot stop winning. Or lifting trophies, it seems. Unlike Inter, who went down 2-0 to Ligue 1's third place Monaco and then had to fight back for a 2-2 draw in their friendly at the San Siro. While our match was really more an opportunity for Pioli to give everyone some playing time, the mentality of last season is still there. The following 11 first team players were not available, did not play, or did not travel for this match:

Theo Hernández
(Ibrahimović is reported to sign a new contract this week, but will obviously not play for six months)

More streamers than meaning in this match

The team will be ready for the new season, regardless of what else happens in the mercato, and even without so many starters available, we have seen what they can do against a seventh place Bundesliga side who were also fielding a lot of players to give them time as well. There is nothing to really read into a match like this, other than the opportunity to see some players we do not normally see. Even then, they have only been in training for two weeks or less, and the Primavera players have a brand new coach, so it was really just an opportunity to see the Scudetto patch on our new kits. And maybe bring a souvenir home from Germany.

This post inspired by the music of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust"

Our next match is 
a preseason friendly
ZTE FC vs. AC Milan
Saturday, July 23 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
Zalaegerszeg, Hungary

Souvenirs from Germany Souvenirs from Germany Reviewed by Elaine on 6:00 PM Rating: 5
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