Barcelona finished their preseason tour of the United States with their second loss in three International Champions Cup games, this time to AC Milan thanks to a late winner by André Silva. But only looking at the result would be a mistake, because once again Barça played extremely well in this preseason and continue to give us great signs for what could come this season.
It seems to be a theme of this preseason: Barça’s first team plays a fantastic first half. There were more than 400 passes, suffocating high pressing, some beautiful passing sequences in midfield, and a lot of chances to score goals. Arthur was once again great, Nélson Semedo was flying up and down the right flank, Munir and Malcom were big threats on the wing, and it really looked like Barça were ready to score.
There was only one problem. Actually, three: Gianluigi Donnarumma and the Milan center-backs, Mateo Musacchio and Alessio Romagnoli, who made big interceptions throughout the half and kept Barça from scoring. Milan tried to be dangerous on the counter, but Marlon and Lenglet were very good as well and Barça had very little trouble defensively.
At halftime, Barça played 45 really great minutes of football for the third preseason game in a row. They just didn’t get a goal this time.
Instead of chaning his entire team at halftime like the other two games, Ernesto Valverde had almost all of his starters play pretty much the entire second half, which meant that Barça continued to dominate the match and were the only team on the pitch who looked like scoring.
But Milan once again managed to stop the most dangerous moves the Blaugrana managed to put together, and after 90 minutes there were no goals scored and it looked like we were headed to a penalty shootout. Except we weren’t because after a very nice play by Franck Kessié, André Silva found himself all alone in the box and easily beat Ter Stegen for the winning goal.
This is a very unfair result for how much Barça dominated this game, but preseason results really don’t matter and the actual 90-minute performance is the big takeaway from the match. And the Blaugrana once again were very, very impressive.
Barcelona: Cillessen (Ter Stegen); Semedo, Marlon (Mingueza), Lenglet, Miranda; Rafinha (Ruiz), Roberto, Arthur; Munir, Alcácer (Puig), Malcom
Milan: Donnarumma; Calabria (Abate), Musacchio (Zapata), Romagnoli, Rodriguez (Antonelli); Kessié, Locatelli (Mauri), Çalhanoglu; Suso (Bonaventura), Cutrone (Silva), Borini (Halilovic)
Goals: André Silva (90’+2)