AC Milan won their second to last game of the pre-season, taking on Feronikeli away from home in front of an enthusiastic crowd. After a slow start, the Rossoneri eventually scored twice through Borini and Suso, both of which have impressed thus far.
Given the opponent, many expected the Rossoneri to score more goals. However, as Feronikeli decided to sit back and defend for almost the entire game, Milan initially struggled to break down their defensive line. Luckily, Suso broke the deadlock with a stunning free-kick, but it wasn’t until the second half that the possession looked more dangerous.
Before the final 45 minutes, Giampaolo decided to change more or less the entire eleven, bringing on A. Donnarumma, Conti, Musacchio, Strinic, Borini, Paqueta, Bonaventura, Piatek and Leao. As it happened, this decision paid off as the San Siro side immediately looked more threatening. Perhaps the home side got tired, but nevertheless, the second-half players impressed.
Thanks to brilliant work from the new signing Rafael Leao, who made his debut this evening, Borini was able to double the lead in the 58th minute. After that, Milan continued to create chances, coming close to a third as Conti hit the bar with a powerful shot from the right flank.
However, Feronikeli managed to escape the Rossoneri’s final push as the game finished 0-2 in favour of the Italian side. Despite the scoreline, it was a good performance by Giampaolo’s men, who grabbed their first win of the pre-season. More importantly, the manager got the opportunity to test several players.
Of course, it’s hard for anyone to stand out in a scrappy friendly, especially if you only get 45 minutes to show yourself. However, a few managed to do so, including the new boy Leao. Playing his first game for the team, he showed great promise as he fearlessly took on his opponents, using his speed and ability to get past the defenders.
In the post-match interview, however, Giampaolo held back on the praise, focusing on the things that Leao can improve: “He is an instinctive type. Instinct is fine, but there are times when you have to follow orders as well. He has just arrived and I need to understand what the best position is for him”.
Only one game remains before the season starts in two weeks, as a friendly has been scheduled with Cesena for next Saturday. With that said, the upcoming week of training will be important for the players, since Giampaolo most likely will pick the starting eleven he believes could play the opener in Serie A.