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Short-handed United escapes Milan in 26 penalty shootout


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Carson, CA — After trading goals in the first 15 minutes of the match, both Manchester United and AC Milan struggled to take control of Thursday night’s International Champions Cup game at the StubHub Center.

Forward Alexis Sanchez helped Manchester United get on the board first, capitalizing on a well-constructed counter-attack in the 12th minute. However, AC Milan responded rather quickly and tied things up thanks to Suso’s goal in the 15th minute.

After 90 minutes of play, the score was still tied 1-1 and because of International Champions Cup rules, both teams went straight to penalties. Neither team could take control as the two exchanged conversions and misses almost simultaneously.

In the 13th round of penalties, the man of the match, Ander Herrera, found the back of the net putting pressure on AC Milan’s midfielder Frank Kessié to do the same. Kessié attempted to chip the ball over goalkeeper Joel Pereira, but put a little too much on it and the ball sailed over the net.

United took home the 9-8 win on penalties in a shoot-out against Milan.

Despite having a depleted roster due to World Cup participation, Manchester United came out as the aggressor early and often. The Red Devils finished with 10 shots on goal compared to Milan’s four. Manchester United was without starters Paul Pogba (France), Ashley Young (England), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) and Marouane Fellaini (Belgium), all of which played late into the World Cup.

Manchester United’s manager José Mourinho praised his team’s ability to create multiple quality chances despite not capitalizing on all of them.

“I was happy with my team’s performance tonight after having less players available and less time to prepare for the match,” stated Mourinho.

Both AC Milan and Manchester United dug deep into their benches tonight as there were 9 total substitutions from both clubs. Mourinho also made the surprising decision of naming right back Matteo Darmian, captain for the match.

“He’s the kind of guy that’s always ready to give all that he has,” Mourinho said. “He grew up in AC Milan and for him to be captain against his child team even in a friendly, has a nice meaning.”

On the other side, Milan’s manager Gennaro Gattuso commented that he likes the direction his young team is heading in.

“We have one of the younger teams in Europe,” Gattuso said. “I thought our mentality was very good and I liked just about everything we did tonight against a more experience team.”

Awesome showdown between Manchester, Milan

AMAZING! Manchester United, AC Milan had 26 PKs! What a GREAT game to watch. #InternationalChampionsCup

Posted by The Ball Out on Thursday, July 26, 2018


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