Manchester City hammered A.C. Milan 5-1 in their first match of the International Champions Cup. It was the Italian side’s second game, having previously lost to Greek champions Olympiacos 3-0 on July 24. It looks as if it is going to be a long season for the Rossoneri. In contrast, the reigning English Premier League champions got off to a very quick start, scoring four goals in the first 26 minutes of play.
Jovetic started the scoring in the 12th minute with a near post laser of a shot, after a nice assist from Jesus Navas. The striker from Montenegro took the shot first time and in stride, making a very difficult finish look simple. Just two minutes later, Scott Sinclair doubled the lead from a Gael Clichy assist. Sinclair got across his defender, showed great control by pulling the ball down, turning around, and firing a half volley into the net.
The third goal in the game came in the 23rd minute, with Navas getting a bit lucky. It was an acrobatic full-volley that may have been going on frame, but was deflected and therefore wrong footed the Milan keeper to roll into the near post. Then, just three minutes after the Navas goal, Manchester City went 4-0 up against A.C. Milan in the International Champions Cup. Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho, who is still only on trial for the English club, found himself in a bit of space a top the 18-yard box and fired a left-footed shot into the goal. It was the young Nigerian’s second goal in two games for the Sky Blues. It was poor read from Milan’s keeper Agazzi, who obviously did not have a good night.
Milan did get one back before half, with Sully Muntari finishing a simple tap in after an Alex header from a corner. Alex’s header may have been going in the net, but Muntari made sure it was a goal, even though he could have been deemed offside. A storm hit Pittsburgh soon after, causing a delay for the restart of the second half. The delay did not seem to affect the players too much. Both teams made numerous changes and Jovetic made sure the game was sealed with a nice effort in the 58th minute. The Manchester City man’s second goal made the final score 5-1 over AC Milan in the Blues first game of the International Champions Cup.
Balotelli did feature in the second half. He had a goal called back for offside just 10 minutes after the restart, and also had time to take a nice selfie with two pitch invaders. There have been a couple problems with security in the International Champions Cup, with numerous games having fans get onto the pitch for pictures with their favorite players.
Milan’s new coach Pippo Inzaghi, a club legend with over 200 appearances for A.C. Milan, will not be happy with the start of his team’s preseason. They have been outscored 8-1 in their last two games, and they still have to play Liverpool on August 2.
Manchester City and their manager, Manuel Pellegrini, will undoubtedly be excited that their team is off to such a good start. They have outscored their past two opponents 9-2, without many of their star players on offense and defense. The team has been playing without David Silva, Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, Martin Demichelis and Vincent Kompany. Manchester City will look to continue their success in the International Champions Cup, after hammering A.C. Milan 5-1, in their next match against fellow Premier League rival Liverpool on July 30.
Commentary by B. Taylor Rash