If you tuned in, hoping for a cracking warmup before Manchester City and Bayern Munich faced off in the Audi Cup final, well... you didn't get it.
What you did get was a 1-0 win for AC Milan in a rather, shall we say, subdued affair, as Kingsley Boateng gave the Italian side the win with his 52nd minute strike.
This was not an instant classic, folks.
Milan, in fact, nearly went behind as early as the sixth minute. Jherson Vergara gave away the ball once, had it swiped from him a second time and Sao Paulo were in on goal. Silvinho unselfishly crossed for Ganso but the ball was just behind the midfielder and he could only turn and get off a weak shot that was easily saved by keeper Marco Amelia.
After yesterday's eight-goal feast between City and Milan, this game was far less enthralling and the opening 30 minutes was a pretty plodding affair. Maicon tried to liven up a humdrum clash with a curling effort from 25 yards in the 34th minute, but Amelia was once again up to the task.
Minutes later Amelia again came up big, making a second key save after AC Milan won possession in the Sao Paulo half.
Milan were in control of the early play and looked the most threatening on several occasions. However, the final bit of class was lacking—as was the team's crossing accuracy with several chances to swing the ball into the box passed up.
M'Baye Niang was close to setting up a goal for Milan five minutes before the break. His promising run into the box dragged the Sao Paulo defense towards him and he laid off a pass for Andrea Petagna, but the forward's shot took a deflection and bounced off the crossbar.
That would be the last solid chance of a goalless first half.
The second half began as the first had ended with Milan almost grabbing the lead. Second-half substitute Kingsley Boateng sent his attempt over the bar after Andrea Poli found him with a nice pass into the box.
However, Boateng would finally get his goal seven minutes into the second half. Urby Emanuelson played Boateng into space with a magnificent through ball down the left flank and Boateng raced in on goal before cheekily nutmegging the keeper to give AC Milan a 1-0 lead.
From there, Milan resumed their approach from the first half, largely holding on to possessing and remaining solid defensively. Sao Paulo couldn't quite ever create anything too dangerous in their build-up play and Roni's dive in the box in the 64th minute (which earned him a yellow for simulation) was about the extent of the team's attacking intrigue.
And that was about it—a second half that came in with a whimper and went out with a softer, less audible whimper.
Man of the Match: Marco Amelia, AC Milan
The keeper was easily the man of the match, making several key saves, especially toward the end of the first half when Sao Paulo actually posed a threat. This was a rather sleepy affair at times, but Amelia definitely earned his clean sheet.
|Stephan El Shaarawy||F||B+|
AC Milan will face the winner of Chelsea versus Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup on August 4, while Sao Paulo faces Portuguesa de Desportos on August 11 in Brasileiro.