Barça beaten by AC Mi­lan while Bale stun­ner helps Madrid de­feat Ju­ven­tus

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Spanish Football -

By Dave Red­shaw Barcelona 0 AC Mi­lan 1 A dra­matic An­dre Silva goal with vir­tu­ally the last kick of the game earned AC Mi­lan a 1-0 win over an un­fa­mil­iar Barcelona side in the In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup. The Cata­lans were without Lionel Messi, Ser­gio Bus­quets, Luis Suárez, Ivan Rakitic, Ger­ard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Philippe Coutinho, Ous­mane Dem­bele and Sa­muel Umtiti for the clash at the Levi Sta­dium in Santa Clara. The ma­jor­ity of the Barca first­team were granted an ad­di­tional pe­riod of time off fol­low­ing their World Cup ex­er­tions, while new sign­ing Ar­turo Vi­dal was still to link up with the squad.

Boss Ernesto Valverde chose to start re­cent Brazil­ian sign­ings Mal­com and Arthur against the Rossoneri and Barca threat­ened in­side the open­ing 60 sec­onds, Paco Al­cácer forc­ing goal­keeper Gian­luigi Don­narumma to make a smart save down to his right. De­fender Alessio Ro­mag­noli then needed to be alert to in­ter­cept an ex­change of passes be­tween Arthur and Mal­com, while Mi­lan’s first op­por­tu­nity fell to Fabio Borini, who saw his at­tempt from in­side the area blocked by Mar­lon, with the Ital­ian play­ers claim­ing the young cen­tre-back had han­dled the ball.

Nonethe­less, it was Barca who con­tin­ued to cre­ate most of the chances, with Mal­com just fail­ing to get on the end of a prob­ing ball from Rafinha on 20 min­utes. Mi­lan left-back Ri­cardo Ro­dríguez had to make a timely in­ter­ven­tion on the halfhour mark to pre­vent Nel­son Semedo get­ting a shot away from a tight an­gle, be­fore Arthur un­leashed a tremen­dous drive from out­side the box which Don­narumma did well to keep out. Barca con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate for the rest of the open­ing pe­riod, Mal­com hit­ting a post and Mu­nir El Had­dadi send­ing an ef­fort nar­rowly wide as the half-time whis­tle ap­proached, with Don­narumma beaten on both oc­ca­sions.

Both teams made sev­eral changes at the break and Mar­cAn­dre ter Ste­gen, on for Jasper Cil­lessen in the Barca goal, had to be on his toes to deny Hakan Cal­hanoglu in the 47th minute. The Span­ish cham­pi­ons then had a penalty ap­peal turned down for an ap­par­ent stamp by Ro­dríguez on Rafinha and Silva wasted a good chance for the Serie A gi­ants by fir­ing into the side-net­ting af­ter good work from Cal­hanoglu 20 min­utes from time. Mid­fielder Ri­card Puig should have won it in the 90th minute for Barca, the 18year-old sub­sti­tute drag­ging his shot wide af­ter be­ing found by Semedo’s cut­back.

In­stead, it was Mi­lan who snatched an un­de­served vic­tory deep into stop­page time, Cal­hanoglu and Kessie com­bin­ing to cre­ate an open­ing for Silva on the break, and the for­mer Porto striker made no mis­take from close range to beat Ter Ste­gen at the near post as the game ap­peared des­tined for a penalty shoot-out. It was harsh on Barca, who will wel­come back some of their more es­tab­lished stars when they take on Sevilla in the Span­ish Su­per Cup in Tang­iers on Sun­day.

Vi­dal: Barça a huge step New Barcelona sign­ing Ar­turo Vi­dal says join­ing the club is ‘a huge step for­ward’ from play­ing for Bay­ern Mu­nich. The Chilean mid­fielder, 31, has ar­rived at the Camp Nou in a €20m deal from the Ger­man cham­pi­ons, be­com­ing Barca’s fourth sign­ing of the trans­fer win­dow.

“Join­ing Barcelona means tak­ing a huge step for­ward from play­ing for Bay­ern,” Vi­dal told re­porters. “They are the big­gest club in the world and have the best team in the world. I’ll try to im­prove things by help­ing them to tro­phies and do my best to ful­fil all their ex­pec­ta­tions. I have a three-year con­tract and I want to win three league ti­tles.”

Real Madrid 3 Ju­ven­tus 1 A stun­ning Gareth Bale strike helped Real Madrid fight back to beat Ju­ven­tus 3-1 in an In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup friendly in Mary­land, USA, which did not fea­ture Cris­tiano Ron­aldo against his for­mer club. Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui started with a 4-3-3 for­ma­tion and gave a start to re­turn­ing in­ter­na­tion­als Isco, Na­cho, Key­lor Navas, Dani Car­va­jal and Toni Kroos. The Euro­pean cham­pi­ons dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion in the open­ing ex­changes, although they strug­gled to cre­ate any mean­ing­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties, but it was the Ital­ians who took the lead on 12 min­utes with Car­va­jal slid­ing the ball into his own net af­ter Joao Cancelo had driven a cross into the box.

Young left-back Ser­gio Reguilón then pro­duced a lung­burst­ing run down the flank to test Juve stop­per Wo­j­ciech Szczesny with a shot, but it was Ron­aldo’s heir ap­par­ent Bale who took mat­ters into his own hands. The Welsh­man picked up the ball on edge of the area af­ter 38 min­utes and crashed a thump­ing half-vol­ley into the top cor­ner to level mat­ters.

Lopetegui made five changes at half-time and sub­sti­tute Marco Asen­sio put Madrid in front two min­utes into the se­cond half, new sign­ing Vini­cius Ju­nior get­ting in on the act as he squared the ball for the Spain in­ter­na­tional to tap in from close range. Less than 10 min­utes later Asen­sio dou­bled his tally, Dani Ce­bal­los spray­ing a pass out to Lu­cas Vázquez, whose cross found Asen­sio for a toe-poke fin­ish which Szczesny should have done bet­ter with as the ball squirmed un­der him.

The re­sult comes af­ter a 2-1 de­feat to Manch­ester United as Madrid get ready to take on cross-city ri­vals Atlético Madrid in the Euro­pean Su­per Cup on Au­gust 15, be­fore get­ting their La Liga cam­paign un­der­way against Getafe four days later. Kroos: Madrid re­plac­ing

Ron­aldo tough Real Madrid mid­fielder Toni Kroos has ad­mit­ted the club will find it ‘re­ally tough’ to re­place Cris­tiano Ron­aldo next sea­son. The Por­tuguese star net­ted 450 goals in 438 matches for Los Blan­cos be­fore join­ing Ju­ven­tus for a re­ported €100m deal ear­lier in the sum­mer.

“When you lose 50 goals over a sea­son it is re­ally tough to re­place,” the Ger­many in­ter­na­tional told re­porters. “Cris­tiano was hugely im­por­tant for us over the years and he has been de­ci­sive in all our suc­cesses, but I have no doubt we will be very hard to beat again.”

Real Madrid play­ers con­grat­u­late mid­fielder Marco Asen­sio af­ter scor­ing a goal against Ju­ven­tus

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