Manchester United end pre-season with a penalty shoot-out win v AC Milan

Manchester United v AC Milan - 2019 International Champions Cup

Manchester United’s flawless pre-season campaign ended with a penalty shoot-out victory over AC Milan at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The Red Devils had won all five of their summer friendlies - against Perth Glory, Leeds United, Inter Milan, Tottenham and Kristiansund - prior to Saturday’s International Champions Cup fixture.

And they warmed up for next weekend’s Premier League opener against Chelsea by recording a sixth successive victory.

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for the Red Devils in the 14th minute before Suso equalised midway through the first half.

Samu Castillejo then put Milan 2-1 ahead on the hour-mark, but Jesse Lingard made it 2-2 in the 72nd minute. With the scores level after minutes, the match went to penalties - and United won 5-4.

This was an excellent test for both teams ahead of the 2019/20 season. Played at a high intensity from the first minute, the two European giants put on an entertaining show for the crowd.

Rashford, in particular, was lively in the first half.

The England international had already tested Gianluigi Donnarumma with a swerving effort before beating the Italian goalkeeper minutes later after cutting in from the left flank and beating two defenders.

Watch Rashford’s goal here…

A superb goal from the 21-year-old - his third of pre-season.

Nemanja Matic provided the assist for Rashford’s opener but the Serbian midfielder was United’s worst player during the opening 45 minutes.

Fans on social media were particularly scathing of his performance, especially after the role he played in Suso’s equaliser.

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The 31-year-old was caught in possession inside his own half, which eventually allowed Suso to bend a brilliant strike past David de Gea from the edge of the box.

Watch the goal here…

De Gea may feel he could have done more to prevent the equaliser, although he kept the scores level before half-time with a fine stop from Krzysztof Piatek’s header.

This wasn’t a hugely encouraging first-half display from United, who had just 37 per cent possession.

Paul Pogba, whose absence from the match-day squad sparked headlines, was a big miss in midfield.

Manchester United v FC Internazionale - 2019 International Champions Cup

United started brightly in the second half, however, presumably after a stern half-time team-talk from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Victor Lindelof and Andreas Pereira both went close to putting United back in front.

However, it was Milan who took the lead on the 60th minute thanks to Castillejo’s glancing header, which went past De Gea off Lindelof.

The introduction of Fred, Daniel James and Lingard for Matic, Juan Mata and Pereira raised United’s intensity and they were back on level terms with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Anthony Martial picked out Lingard inside the box and the England midfielder produced a sweet left-footed finish past former Liverpool ‘keeper Pepe Reina, who replaced Donnarumma in the second half.

Solskjaer sent on Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes - two United youngsters who have caught the eye in pre-season - in the closing stages.

The two subs combined with five minutes left on the clock and the unmarked Greenwood should have done better with a header after being picked out by his teammate.

Fred also spurned a great chance to win the match for United with a 20-yard free-kick before the game went to a penalty shoot-out.

Lingard, Young, Greenwood, Gomes and James all scored past Reina.

Daniel Maldini, the 17-year-old son of Milan legend Paolo, was the unfortunate player to miss for the Rossoneri.

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