Milan Steals Last-Second Win vs. Barcelona in 2018 ICC

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2018

AC Milan defender Mateo Musacchio (22) moves the ball next to FC Barcelona forward Rafael Alcantara during the first half during an International Champions Cup soccer match in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

AC Milan wrapped up their 2018 International Champions Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Barcelona at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Saturday.

Both clubs entered the fixture looking to end things on a high note after struggling to pick up points in the early stages of the tournament. Barcelona entered with two points thanks to a penalty-shootout win over Tottenham Hotspur, while Milan's lone point came from a penalty-shootout loss to Manchester United.

The two squads went scoreless for 92 minutes, but Andre Silva came through with the game-winning goal at the end of stoppage time in the 93rd minute.

              

Malcom Shows Value in Strong 1st-Half Performance

The score may have been 0-0 at the half, but don't let that overshadow Malcom's play.

Malcom is just a couple of weeks into his Barcelona career after coming over from French club Girondins de Bordeaux. The club is without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the ICC, which gives other players a chance to show what they can do.

Enter Malcom.

The new signee netted the clinching penalty kick against Tottenham Hotspur in the club's ICC opener on July 28. He followed that up with a goal against Roma. And while he didn't score against Milan, the 21-year-old winger is making it clear he will fit in at the Camp Nou.

Malcom's quickness makes him a threat on the outside, and his willingness to take his shot is key. He nearly found the back of the net near the end of the first half:

He almost set up a game-winner too, but his team was unable to make a dent in the scoreboard. Even in a shutout, Malcom showed Barcelona a glimpse of what's in store for the next five years.

                     

Milan Shows Clutch Gene with Late Winner

For the majority of the first 92 minutes, Barcelona was in firm control of this contest. After all, it controlled the ball for 69 percent of the game and owned a 20-8 edge in shots.

However, Milan hung tough and found a way to win the game.

The two teams turned up the pressure near the end of regulation, trading scoring chances. Barca missed out on a golden opportunity when Ricard Puig's shot in the 90th minute went  just  wide. Then Silva—who came on in the 61st minute—made Barca pay for not cashing in:

Despite committing 22 fouls and allowing Barcelona to hold a major edge in possession, Milan stayed with it and continued to battle in what was a chippy game. While it may not have been the prettiest victory, results are all that matter.

Milan finishes the tournament with four points after recording one win and two losses, with one coming via penalties.

              

Barcelona Still Needs to Find Consistency Among Reserves

For as talented as Barcelona may be, its depth has been tested during this tournament—and the results haven't been pretty.

This marks the second consecutive game in which it has seen a game get away from it late. It held a 2-1 lead over Roma on Tuesday before surrendering three goals in an eight-minute span late on.

Even in its ICC opener, it allowed a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes.

In this match, Puig, Abel Ruiz, Oscar Mingueza and Marc-Andre ter Stegen were used as substitutes. While they helped maintain control of the game, they weren't able to get a favorable result. Puig couldn't come through in the clutch. Ter Stegen was beat on the game-winner.

But the loss is not solely on any one player.

Barcelona finished the ICC with two points, but had it been able to finish games, it could have wound up higher in the standings. Instead, it saw some games get away and wound up paying the price.

          

What's Next?

Both clubs have concluded their respective ICC schedules. Milan will play a friendly against RB Leipzig on Friday at Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, and Barcelona will take on Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup on August 12 at Grand Stade de Tanger.

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